A good samaritan embarked on an epic 23-mile journey to save a sick swan from the brink of death.
Ariel Cordova-Rojas got some strange looks when she came to the rescue of the injured bird, taking it by bike, car and subway to get help.
The animal lover had been riding her bike through Jamaica Bay wildlife refuge in New York on her 30th birthday earlier this week, when she noticed the injured bird sitting alone in the grass and walked up to it.
“She didn’t move at all,” she said. “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 rehabilitation centre, picked up the bird and wrapped her in her coat.
She then rode to the park’s entrance on her bike, Inside Edition reports.
The park’s ranger station and the nearby Brooklyn Animal hospital were both closed, leaving her with no option but to set off on a one-mile walk.
A group of onlookers spotted her carrying the 17lb bird then gave her and the swan a ride to Howard Beach train station.
She rode the train to Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn with the animal.
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 added.
“If there’s an animal in need, I’m going to do whatever I can.”