Good Samaritan Brings Sick Swan on New York City Subway to Get to Animal Clinic

Ariel Cordova-Rojas
An injured swan makes his way to the animal clinic on the A train in New York after being rescued by a Good Samaritan. Ariel Cordova-Rojas

A good Samaritan saved a swan’s life by hopping on the subway with it after finding the animal on its last leg. Ariel Cordova-Rojas, 30, was riding her bike through Jamaica Bay wildlife refuge on Thursday when she noticed the injured bird sitting alone in the grass and walked up to it, she told the New York Daily News.

“She didn’t move at all,” said Cordova-Rojas, “I approached, and she stayed still. Swans are normally very aggressive and very territorial, so I knew something was wrong.”

Cordova-Rojas, who used to work at the Wild Bird Fund, picked up the bird and wrapped her in her coat. She then rode to the park’s entrance on her bike. She told the paper the park’s ranger station was closed and the nearby Brooklyn Animal hospital was closed.

A group of onlookers then gave her and the swan a ride to A line Howard Beach train station. She rode the train to Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn with the animal. Another stranger drove her bicycle to the station for her.

A pair of Wild Bird Fund employees picked up Cordova-Rojas and the swan and drove them to the nonprofit’s clinic on the Upper West Side. It turns out the bird was very sick, like Cordova-Rojas thought.

“She has some lead in her system, which is actually pretty common for the water fowl in New York City," said Corodova-Rojas. “Swans, while grazing in water, sometimes pick up lead anchors; little by little it leeches into their body.”

The bird is in stable condition and recovering. The rescue was a good birthday gift for Cordova-Rojas' 30th birthday.

“It was a great way to close out my 20s,” she told the paper.

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