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Injured swan 'commandeers' N.W.T. woman's bedroom

Monday, November 11th 2019, 10:59 am - The swan was spotted 'walking into town,' injured in early freeze-up

Screen Shot 2019-11-11 at 11.47.50 AM (Image: Laura Diamond-c carried the injured swan home through the streets of Fort Liard, N.W.T. Submitted by Laura Diamond-c via CBC News)

Laura Diamond-c appears to be unflappable.

Last week, an injured swan "commandeered" the bedroom of her home in Fort Liard, N.W.T, hissing at anyone who dared disturb its slumber.

Diamond-c didn't mind — she was the one that put it there.

The swan is the latest in a string of animal rescues from the moderator of the Fort Liard Dog House, a Facebook page for animal rescue in the remote community of 500 people.

"People call me … when they think something needs to be rescued," she told the host of CBC's Trail's End.

The injured swan first came to Diamond-c's attention when she noticed its baby flying "around and around, calling" over Hay Lake.

Swans are a frequent sight on the waters around the community, but an early freeze-up this year had trapped one in the ice.

A local dog walker called Diamond-c when they noticed an injured mother swan on the lake, apparently unable to fly.

"So we went out there the next day to try and help it," she said. "[We] put the canoe in the water and used the shovel to break the ice towards where it was melting."

The swan was released — but that wasn't the end of it.

SWAN SPOTTED 'WALKING INTO TOWN'

"We just got home, and we got a phone call saying that the swan was walking to town," she said.

Out Diamond-c went again. She captured the swan — "almost as tall as I am," she said — and brought it home for a bit of medical attention.

"I put polysporin on its wing," where the swan had a small injury, Diamond-c said. At the time, she believed the swan was male, but it is actually female. "[She] drank water and ate bits of lettuce and stuff that I chopped up really fine for him."

Screen Shot 2019-11-11 at 12.16.09 PM (Image: The swan, pictured here in Diamond-c's bedroom, did not like to be disturbed. Submitted by Laura Diamond-c via CBC News)

Before long, "[she] warmed up," Diamond-c said, "and commandeered the bedroom."

"[She] didn't want anyone to disturb [her] while [she's] in there sleeping," she said.

Before long, the territory's department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) was on the phone — they had heard about the swan from others who saw it marching into town.

"They came just a little while ago and picked it up," Diamond-c said Friday afternoon, a fact confirmed by an ENR spokesperson.

The swan will head to a wildlife vet in Fort Simpson, where they will assess its chances of rehabilitation.

"Everybody is really happy that it's rescued and it's going to be fine," she said.

'QUITE THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE'

Diamond-c said having a wild animal in the house was "quite the learning experience" for her grandkids.

"They're painting pictures right now of the swan," she said.

It's not the first time she's brought wildlife home.

A couple of years ago, she said, she came across a starving snowy owl and nursed it back to health.

"When they picked it up, it was as light as a feather," she said. "[I] got people to give me their rabbits and anything that they had to keep feeding it until it gained enough weight."

According to Diamond-c, this injured swan won't be her last wildlife rescue, either.

"I'm sure the baby swan is still out there," she said. "I'm going to go out and find out if the baby is … tucked into the bush, waiting for its mother or father."

This article was originally published for CBC News

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