Esplanade swans euthanized after showing symptoms of bird flu

Boston Parks and Recreation Department officials said two swans living along the Charles River Esplanade were euthanized after showing symptoms of bird flu. The Animal Care and Control Division responded to the Esplanade on Monday after receiving multiple calls about two sick swans. With the help of the Boston Fire Department, animal control officer Patti Jones captured the adult swans and took them to the animal care center at the town. Officials said the two swans had five cygnets, and a swan family watcher said there were previously six cygnets. “The major trauma started happening on Friday night when one of six baby cygnets died near the nest,” said Dr Patricia Arroyo. Arroyo said the cygnet’s death appeared to be a sad accident and the rest of the swan family appeared to be healthy and acting good all weekend. But on Monday, something drastically changed. “Monday morning I got a call and we went out, and the mother was really distressed,” Arroyo said. Arroyo and other swan watchers from the Esplanade called in wildlife experts and watched through tears and rain as the mother swan struggled to even lift her head. “And as that happened, we saw the remaining five baby cygnets swimming alone to the nest. And then we found the father in distress, actually in worse condition than the mother,” Arroyo said. The five cygnets were captured and taken to the Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, which will test the birds for bird flu and help rehabilitate them. A serious strain of bird flu has spread around the world and in recent weeks has killed hundreds of birds on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. bird flu symptoms, some wonder if the blue-green algae might have been to blame – as the intense heat on Sunday could have caused the poisonous cyanobacteria to bloom. The death of the swans comes nearly 13 months after the sudden death of a mother swan that was nesting along the Charles River Esplanade. The Boston Animal Control Department later said a necropsy performed on this swan provided no further insight into its death. who encounter a bird in distress are encouraged to keep their distance, but take a photo or video and send it to the Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife. The distress could be linked to bird flu, and officials say trying to track the spread of the virus is extremely important. Boston officials did not say whether the two swans who were euthanized on Monday will undergo an autopsy to determine if they officially died of bird flu.

Boston Department of Parks and Recreation officials said two swans living along the Charles River Esplanade were euthanized after showing symptoms of bird flu.

The Animal Care and Control Division responded to the Esplanade on Monday after receiving multiple calls about two sick swans.

With the help of the Boston Fire Department, animal control officer Patti Jones captured the adult swans and took them to the city’s animal care center.

“Unfortunately the birds were quite ill, exhibiting symptoms consistent with avian flu and were humanely euthanized,” a Parks & Recreation official said.

Officials said the two swans had five cygnets, and a swan family watcher said there were previously six cygnets.

“The major trauma started happening on Friday night when one of six baby cygnets died near the nest,” said Dr Patricia Arroyo.

Arroyo said the cygnet’s death appeared to be a sad accident and the rest of the swan family appeared to be healthy and active all weekend. But on Monday, something drastically changed.

“Monday morning I got a call and we went out, and the mom was really distressed,” Arroyo said.

Arroyo and other swan spotters from the Esplanade called in wildlife experts and watched through tears and rain as the mother swan struggled to even lift her head.

Dr. Patricia Arroyo

This female swan struggled to raise her head while on the Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts on June 27, 2022. City officials said this swan and a male swan, which had a nest of cygnets along the Charles River Esplanade, had been euthanized because they were showing symptoms consistent with avian flu.

“And while that was happening, we saw the remaining five baby cygnets swimming alone to the nest. And then we found the father in distress, actually in worse condition than the mother,” Arroyo said.

These swans are orphaned along the Charles River Esplanade after their parents had to be euthanized after showing symptoms consistent with bird flu.

Courtesy

These swans are orphaned along the Charles River Esplanade after their parents had to be euthanized after showing symptoms consistent with bird flu.

The five cygnets were captured and taken to the Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, which will test the birds for bird flu and help rehabilitate them.

A serious strain of bird flu has spread globally and in recent weeks has killed hundreds of birds on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Although Boston officials said the euthanized swans showed symptoms of bird flu, some wonder if blue-green algae might be to blame – as the intense heat on Sunday could have caused the toxic cyanobacteria to bloom.

The death of the swans comes nearly 13 months after the sudden death of a mother swan that was nesting along the Charles River Esplanade. The Boston Animal Control Department later said a necropsy performed on this swan provided no additional information about its death.

“It’s just sad that something that brings us all this joy turns into grief again,” said Manuela Jambrina-Escobar.

People who encounter a bird in distress are encouraged to keep their distance, but take a photo or video and send it to the Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife. The distress could be linked to bird flu, and officials say trying to track the spread of the virus is extremely important.

Boston officials have not said whether the two swans euthanized on Monday will undergo an autopsy to determine if they officially died of bird flu.

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