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(Photos provided by West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic and Bird Hospital)

(from City Park) – In February 2013 a City Park black swan, named Amanda Erika, was badly injured while protecting her nest of 6 eggs. Her eggs were crushed by a depraved individual.

She was brought to the West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic and Bird Hospital in Metairie. Doctor Gregory Rich and his staff spent much time caring for her and taking care of her injured and infected leg. Seeing that surgery was the best answer if Amanda Erika was to survive, Dr. Rich enlisted the help of Southeast Veterinary Specialist’s Dr. Rose Lemarie and Dr. Kenneth Ranson.

Swans typically are known to be territorial animals; but not Amanda Erika. She has a sweet and passive personality. She was certainly a favorite with City Park patrons who were shocked and saddened to hear about the attack on her and her eggs. Support poured into the Park via Facebook, donations, and notes & letters.

Amanda Erika spent 10 months at the Veterinary clinics. While there the staff definitely made attachments to this sweet swan. She had multiple surgeries and physical therapy including water therapy.

After the many months and ample therapy, we’re happy to say Amanda Erika is now strong enough to swim and walk (with a limp). Yesterday, Amanda Erika was brought to a private Northshore pond where she will be protected and loved. We like to say she’s entered the ‘Swan witness protection program (SWPP)’ as we won’t be mentioning exactly where her new home is. We can tell you it’s with a loving family who has other birds including ducks and geese. While the Park is sad to not have Amanda Erika back in the Park, we’re confident Amanda Erika will love her new home.

“We’ll miss her at the Park, but are so thankful she’s doing better. We are also eternally grateful to Drs. Rich, Lemarie, Ranson, and their staffs. Said John Hopper, “Amanda Erika could go on to live another 20 to 25 years.”

To see photos of Amanda Erika, please visit the Park’s blog:

The recent freezing temperatures will delay the release of Amanda the Swan.

Amanda suffered a serious leg injury nearly a year ago.

Veterinarians think she may have been intentionally injured by somebody.

She was going to be released at her new home on the North Shore this afternoon.

But now, because of the cold weather, Amanda will have to wait until next Wednesday.

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.”

It’s been months since New Orleans City Park’s resident black swan, Amanda, suffered a serious injury. Now, after two surgeries Amanda is almost ready for her new home.

In this week’s NOLA Pet Doctor segment, WGNO’s Anne Cutler tells us how the community came together to save a swan.

City-Park-Swan-Amanda-09Doctors say Amanda, the City Park swan, is recovering well after her surgery more than a week ago.

Earlier this month the park’s only black swan was injured badly and all her eggs were broken.

Dr. Rose Lemarie from Southeast Veterinary Specialists performed surgery on the swan to repair her open wound and protruding joint on her leg.

Amanda is now in the care of West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic which says she is progressing nicely.

They say she could be released back to the park Within one or two weeks.

A successful surgery after doctors repair the injured leg of Amanda, the only black swan in City Park.

“I’m not used to anything with a neck that long,” says Dr. Rose Lemarie who will  perform the surgery.

Amanda the black swan was found in City Park suffering from an open leg wound and bones from her joint fully exposed.   Park official say Amanda was attacked.

“It was some sort of trauma obviously, but other than that Amanda’s not talking,” says Dr. Lemarie

Prepping for swan surgery includes  anesthesia and then plucking feathers around her injury.

X-rays show doctor’s exactly where to surgically repair her joint.

“She also had a tarsal laxation which means that the joint was opening up where it shouldn`t open up,” says Lemarie.”

Once in the O.R. Dr. Gregory Rich from West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic and Bird Hospital monitors Amanda’s vital signs.

Lemarie says the most delicate parts of this surgery is putting the screws in exactly the right spot,  “The biggest problem in this swan is getting enough soft tissue to cover the heads of the screws.”

She says the screw placement turned out to be a success, “We placed these screws and made an evaded suture  around the screws to pull that joint together.”

Once Amanda’s leg is sewn back together she`s taken into post-op to bandage up a splint.

Dr. Rich says when  Amanda comes off the anesthesia  her road to recovery can finally begin, “Medications, nutrition, fluid therapy and bandage changes.”

Doctors are optimistic Amanda will  one day soon be released back to City Park.

“That`s the goal. We don`t want Amanda to have to live in more captivity,” says Lemarie.

Rich predicts Amanda will be able to walk again  in about seven days.

Then he’ll monitor’ City Parks only black swan to have a better idea if and when she`ll return the wild.

NEW ORLEANS – City Park workers and police want to know who injured the park’s only black swan and broke her five eggs.

“We haven’t had any live born cygnets, baby swans, in several years here, so we were all very excited,” said a disappointed City Park Chief Development Officer John Hopper.  “If you connect the dots, it would lead you to believe it might be the same demented individual.”

Hopper believes the attack happened between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning in the park’s Sculpture Garden.

The swan is being treated at West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic in Metairie.  Dr Gregory Rich says her injury is serious.

“Open ankle, meaning the joint is exposed.  It was popped out of place originally, so the bone was actually poking through the skin,” Rich said while trying to reassure the swan on one of his clinic’s examination tables.

The swan is much calmer than most according to Rich.  She seems social and trusting which may have only helped her attacker.

Rich says the swan’s injuries are not consistent with any type of animal attack.  He says the swan’s left leg was definitely injured by some sort of trauma.

If all goes well, the swan could still be a month away from her release.

“She’s not out of the woods, but she’s got a fair to good prognosis,” said Rich.