ALMONT TWP. — This was one swan that needed saving...fortunately, an experienced animal handler cop and two good samaritans showed up at the right place at the right time.
Sgt. Bob Parsell said he responded to the call of a stranded bird on Glover Rd., south of Burt Rd. on Monday, Dec. 22.
"He couldn't fly. We thought he was stuck to the ice," Parsell said when attempts at getting the bird to move were futile.
That's when Burt Rd. resident Tracy Collins volunteered to wade through the flooded area in her boots. With the help of fellow citizen Rob Wichman, the trio managed to scoot the big bird up and off the ice where animal control officers were able to catch it.
A stranded swan is on the mend after Sgt. Bob Parsell and two good samaritans came to its aid in Almont Twp. last week.
The young bird, assumed to be wild, was not injured but appeared to have not been getting enough food.
According to officials at the Lapeer County Animal Control office, they didn't have the proper facilities for the swan, but it is on the mend at another location. They hope to get the bird back to good health and eventually release it into the wild.
The swan incident probably ranks as one of the easier big bird rescues in recent Almont Police Department history.
There was the time Parsell ran 250 yards to catch a poor goose that had been shot with an arrow.
"Unfortunately, his fate was not quite the same as the swan. It died," he said.
Then there were the emus. Parsell was part of three man team that managed to corral one of the very large birds.
"Chief Bruns, (Officer Mark) Bosma and I chased one down," Parsells said.
"We cornered the sucker. It ran at me first and then it ran at Bruns and he gave it a big bear hug, brought him to the ground and we hog tied him."
There was at least one other emu incident in the department's logs, that one taken into custody by officer Don Tillery, who's also Marine City's Chief of Police.
The birds were likely victims of the exotic bird craze, Parsell said. Once they own them, people discover emus and ostriches are hard to deal with—and expensive.
The most recent swan rescue was more of a heart warming experience.
"There still are nice citizens out there than come to the rescue of animals in need," Parsells said.
"Who says there's no good left in this world?"
Three types of swan species can be found in Michigan—the trumpeter, mute and tundra.