AsiaWire / Ou Junzhan
This is the moment a loyal female swan refuses to leave its partner’s side after the male snags one of its legs on a kite string and struggles to swim or fly.
Footage taken by birdwatcher Ou Junzhan, from the city of Zhengzhou in Central China’s Henan Province, shows the pair of migrating mute swan (Cygnus olor) waiting in the reeds besides a lake island.
According to Mr Ou, who flew a drone over the islet, the cob was spotted on 22nd March and appeared unable to swim away due to a kite string wrapped around its right leg.
The pen, however, stayed by its side throughout the ordeal.
Mr Ou’s footage shows local police and forestry authorities arriving by boat, with the motor appearing to scare away the migrating birds.
The swan cob breaks free of the reeds and begins swimming towards land while still pulling the lengthy kite string behind it.
The authorities and local residents follow the birds until they reach an inlet, where vets and rescue swimmers are waiting.
One of the vets is seen leaping into the water to grab both swans by the neck.
They were both inspected and released after veterinarians removed the kite string and bandaged the cob’s right leg.
Mr Ou said the entire rescue took about five hours.
Local wildlife authorities said the mute swan couple likely stopped to rest in the lake during migration.
It was the first time the species had been seen in the city.
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