Compiled by The Bedford Citizen, with help from Laura Bullock and photographers Clive Grainger and Linda Oustinow
The call for help came through on the evening of January 5: at least one of the swans from the family of six that have spent the summer on Fawn Lake seemed be frozen in the ice. A combination of the exceedingly mild winter and the sudden cold snap may have been the cause of the situation. Bedford Police and Fire Departments responded, and determined that bringing the Animal Rescue League of Boston to Bedford early this morning would have to suffice.
According to Fawn Lake correspondent Laura Bullock, the adult swans remained nearby in a patch of unfrozen water. Good wishes for the swan family dominated social media.
Today’s rescue, amply covered by Boston and local media, on foot and in the sky, reported a mix of good and bad news: All four cygnets (young swans) were caught in the ice, and two succumbed. The other cygnets were recovered by the Animal Rescue League of Boston and removed to Tufts Veterinary Hospital for evaluation.
Along with a small flock of Canada geese the elder swans resisted capture, although one is thought to have an injured leg.
Because swans can’t simply lift themselves into the sky like helicopters, they need a larger patch of open water in order to take off. Because of tonight’s forecast of below-freezing temperatures, any of today’s thaw may still not create enough open water for the adults to fly away.
It is reported that the cygnets are doing well at Tufts. According to a source at the Animal Rescue League, Bedford’s animal control officer is monitoring the remaining swans and will call for additional help if the injured swan appears to be declining.
A Photo Essay