Samuel, cygnets and swans

Samuel, cygnets and swans

Swans are very protective of their young however if something has happened to the parents – the young cygnets end up in care.  Samuel, a cygnet (baby swan), was found struggling alone on Lake Burley Griffin and rescued by a member of the public.

Many people think cygnets are cute and occasionally try to capture them as pets. However, baby swans require specialised care and feeding.  Swans need access to deep water, for weight bearing exercise. Otherwise, they can develop bumblefoot which is a painful inflammation and abscesses on the feet.  This is a result of incorrect feeding and too much walking on hard surfaces.

As wildlife carers, we recreate the conditions the animal would live in as best we can.  In this instance – Samuel came into care as a small cygnet. He was housed safely and fed the correct diet.

As part of his rehabilitation to release, he had access to ponds and a saltwater pool.

Samuel often enjoyed a swim and dive with his carer, in the large saltwater pool. The picture shows, when he had enough, he would climb on “mum’s” back. At no stage did she place him there; she just allowed him to follow his natural instincts!  Samuel is now a beautiful black swan back on Lake Burley Griffin.

Helen Hardy
Wildlife Group
ACT Wildlife