World A grieving swan stops the trains

A grieving swan stops the trains

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Illustration of a swan. – SUPERSTOCK/SUPERSTOCK/SIPA

Installed on a German railroad track, a swan in mourning for his companion held up around twenty trains for nearly an hour and finally had to be evacuated by firefighters, police said.

The two birds had strayed on the high-speed line connecting Kassel to Göttingen, in central Germany, “during an excursion”, according to the press release from the Kassel police.

Traffic blocked for almost an hour

One of the two birds died, probably after getting caught in the overhead power cables, according to the account of the facts, which occurred on December 23 but made public on Monday. His unhappy companion then sat next to the dead bird and resisted attempts by officials to lure him away from the tracks.

Firefighters with special equipment had to be called to the rescue: they managed to take the dead swan and its companion safe and sound out of the area. The rescued bird was then released on the Fulda River. Twenty-three trains had been delayed for about 50 minutes during the rescue operation, the statement said. According to the British Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, swans attempt to stay in pairs for their entire lives.

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