Natalie is over four months old. At this stage of development, young swans are ready to leave their parents and go their own way. Natalie demonstrated all the necessary survival skills – seeking water if concerned (for safety), finding food and long run offs to practise her flying! The time came to release Natalie! Release is always an exciting time – a little stressful and a little sad. So many mixed emotions.
Since Natalie is so large and I needed to protect her wings, I decided that instead of placing her in a crate I would carry her securely – not something I’d attempt with a wild swan, but I knew Natalie would be less stressed with me holding her. So, in the car we went, seatbelts on and secure.
When we arrived at our release destination, it was just a short walk down to the water – a huge lake.
Releases are usually straight forward. The animal is placed on the ground, or the cage is open and the animal disappears off………without a backwards glance…..
Natalie, however, wasn’t very impressed with her new location.
Natalie did not like the cold water!
Natalie refused to swim in the water, hid between my legs then started to walk back to the car! Clearly this release wasn’t going to work so unfortunately I had to take Natalie home. Not the outcome I had anticipated! I decided that I needed the help of other swans, so I will locate a few swans in care and find a buddy for Natalie. That way they can learn from each other and ‘The release part 2’ will hopefully be more successful! Stay tuned for more!
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