Cygnet in distress rescued 24 hours after death of mother swan

BOSTON — A Boston Animal Control officer rescued a cygnet that appeared to be struggling in the water less than 24 hours after the death of its mother.

Spectators began calling 311 and Boston Animal Control after noticing the baby swan in distress on Tuesday night on the Charles River Esplanade.

The swan family has been getting a lot of attention from visitors since the cygnets hatched last week. Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the Esplanade Association still aren’t sure what caused the death of the mother swan on Monday.

Saddened visitors told Boston 25 News they couldn’t turn a blind eye when they saw one of her cygnets in trouble the following day.

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“This little one is struggling, struggling, struggling,” said regular visitor Brooks Payne. “After a while he’s going to wear himself out, and he’s going to die of exhaustion.”

Within minutes, a Boston Animal Control officer was on scene to rescue the baby bird.

A couple passing by in a rented kayak allowed the officer to use it to get to the animal.

“It was really nice of them to allow me to use it,” said Boston Animal Control Officer Michael Stern. “It’s beautiful that everyone’s concerned.”

Officer Stern brought the cygnet back to shore and transported it to Angell Animal Medical Center.

“I’m not sure what happened to this little guy,” explained Officer Stern. “It was struggling a little bit, so we want to make sure everything is okay.”

The city’s veterinarian is expected to perform a necropsy on the deceased mother swan later this week. In the meantime, Boston Animal Control officers will be closely monitoring the swan family’s nest.