The City Park Black Swan’s Long Road to Recovery

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It’s hard to imagine a vicious attack in a setting as serene as City Park.  In February, the resident black swan was found with a nest of crushed eggs and her own leg, badly broken.  It was a disappointment for City Park Chief Development Officer John Hopper.  “We haven’t had any live born cygnets, baby swans, in several years here, so we were all very excited.”

Southeast Veterinary Specialist’s Dr. Rose Lemarie explains, “It was broken right at the joint, at the hoc joint or the tarsus joint and it was basically turned in the wrong direction.”  It was a complicated and unusual case that really hit a nerve.  “There was a lot of public outcry.  Amanda’s the only black swan at City Park, so a lot people knew her and were used to seeing her out there on a daily basis.”

One walker elaborates, “We out here every other day walking and it really enhances the beauty of the park.”

Two veterinarians joined forces to tackle Amanda’s treatment.  She was taken to West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic and then transferred to a dog kennel at Southeast Veterinary Specialists.  It was the only kennel large enough to let Amanda stretch out.  Over 8 months, Amanda made two trips to the operating room.  Dr. Lemarie tackled surgery, while West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic’s Dr. Gregory Rich handled anesthesia.  Today, she’s relearning how to use her injured leg and regaining the personality that made her so popular in the first place.

“She’s a fixture and Amanda’s very special,” says Dr. Lemarie.  “Amanda’s friendly and not only is she distinctive with her looks, but she’s distinctive with her personality.”  Although Amanda’s on the mend, she won’t be returning to her home at City Park.  She’s going to a private residence instead.  She is stronger than she was after the accident, but she’s not strong enough to defend herself, if a predator came her way.

The black swan who was perhaps too friendly for her own good, has new wind beneath her wings.  It’s all thanks to two dedicated doctors and the groundswell of community support.  “It does my heart good to help the city and the swan and it’s all part of what we do.”

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