We all know that one of the key characteristics of a successful person is determination. You can’t get anywhere in life without persevering through the good and the bad!
If you’re looking for a story of determination to tell to your kids, we have the perfect one for you – and, of course, it has a fun animal theme that’ll keep everyone entertained.
This month, Ariel Cordova-Rojas, a New York citizen, spent her 30th birthday like no other.
She might have been born and raised in the so-called “concrete jungle”, but Ariel is a nature and animal lover through and through.
On the day of her 30th birthday, she visited the Queens wildlife refuge for a bit of peaceful time away from the city hubbub.
But when she spotted a swan alone on the grassy verge at the side of the water, she knew something wasn’t right.
According to the New York Times, Ariel is trained in identifying and rescuing wildlife, thanks to five years of work experience at the Wild Bird Fund clinic in Manhattan.
Ariel noticed that the swan was having difficulty walking or flying. The 17-pound bird was clearly in ill health.
Now, not all of us would want to approach a bird with a beak the size of a swan’s, but Ariel was used to handling these creatures.
She wrapped the swan in her jacket, named him Bae, and walked a mile with him to the refuge entrance.
The refuge then called animal rescue centers and ranger stations, but no one could offer immediate help.
Thankfully, a couple with a car offered to drive Ariel and Bae to a nearby subway station, where Ariel could catch the train with an employee of Wild Bird Fund.
Not every swan can say they’ve been on the subway, but Bae has photos as proof.
He looked relatively calm, if not a little worse for wear, nestled in an orange jacket on his very own train seat.
According to Ariel, Bae was taken in for treatment for lead poisoning. He was given antifungals and antibacterial medications and is reportedly gaining strength and mobility.
It’s likely that Bae will need up to two months to recover before he’s ready to go back to the wildlife sanctuary.
As for Ariel, she remains humble about her life-saving rescue mission that saw her walk, ride the subway, and car-share with a swan by her side. She said:
“I think it just shows the immense compassion of New Yorkers. People always think that we are rude and heartless, but we are just busy and have places to go, so we move fast.
“Even though we live in a concrete jungle, we are surrounded by nature and wildlife if you just take a second to look around. The wildlife are just as much New Yorkers as we are, and it is our duty to keep each other safe.”
Bae is known as a mute swan, a bird that isn’t native to America but is particularly common in New York.
Some states have swan-removal policies, as swans are seen as a threat to wildlife and plants, but New York captures its swans and relocates them to centers like the Queens wildlife refuge.
Thanks to Ariel’s determination to save Bae, he now has another chance at life.
You can see Ariel’s full Facebook post documenting her journey to bring Bae to safety here.
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