SPCA Officers Rescue Swan from Busy Highway After Concerned Drivers Report Sightings

March 11, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Rescued mute swan, resting up at the SPCA in West Seneca March 11, 2021

UPDATE, MARCH 12: Members of the SPCA Wildlife Department will continue speaking with representatives of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regarding the mute swan rescued two days ago. On a DEC informational website page found here, the organization states that it recently adopted regulations listing the mute swan as a “prohibited” invasive species, which prohibits the sale, importation, transport, or introduction of this species in New York. More information can be found on the DEC website.

There was no ‘swan song’ for this gorgeous bird last night, thanks to watchful drivers and SPCA animal rescue officers. Side note to those caught in this rush hour back-up yesterday evening on the I-90 near the I-290: at least now you’ll know it was for a good reason!

The SPCA Serving Erie County started receiving calls late yesterday afternoon from concerned drivers about what appeared to be a large swan seen at various places along the I-290.

At dusk, SPCA officers Jasil Ivory, William Heine, and Leanne Webb (celebrating her second day on the job!) were finally able to capture this beautiful swan right near Exit 50.

Thanks to excellent work by the officers, kind assistance from the NYS Thruway Authority  and New York State Police, and several compassionate and patient drivers, the swan is now resting comfortably in the Wildlife Department at the SPCA’s Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter, where the bird is being examined and evaluated. 

The bird has been identified by wildlife professionals at the SPCA as a first-year Mute Swan, an invasive, non-native species. SPCA Wildlife Department Director Barbara Haney has been in constant communication with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and will have more information to report on the swan’s prognosis within the week.

Posted here are photos of last night’s rescue, another example of a community coming together to save the life of a beautiful animal, and an example of yet another way the SPCA Serving Erie County has continued to serve the people and the animals of this community throughout the pandemic. 

Remember, the SPCA Serving Erie County’s important programs and services are funded *only* through donations. Make your gift today and be part of these incredible animal rescues and rehabs!

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