By Luke Kenton
This is the incredible moment a man tackles a swan in a lake to free it from a deadly fish hook impaled in its leg.
With pockets stuffed with bird feed, volunteer animal rescuer, Stefan Brockling, is about to attempt one of his most daring stunts yet in Grevenbroich, Germany, as he seeks to help the hindered fowl.
Notorious for their fierce, territorial nature, Stefan is tentative in his approach to the bird and its companion, before suddenly springing into action and jumping from the riverbank on top of the swan, dragging it out of the water.
Quickly mounting the injured animal to control its wings and neck to prevent any attack, Stefan quickly realises the severity of the bird’s injury, as the hook has torn its way deep into the knee of the anatidae.
Stefan said: “The swan was first spotted in the back garden of a man’s house, who called the fire brigade, but unfortunately they failed to capture it.
“Swans can be very vicious if you’re not careful so I had to ensure the birds head was underwater when I leapt for it, that’s why I used grain as it sinks to the bottom.
“Usually in situations like this, I’d be able to pull the out the hook myself, but it was lodged so deeply in the leg, an operation was needed, so I rushed the bird to the vet.”
After two weeks of rehabilitation and a successful operation, the swan was safely returned to the river.
Better yet, the bird’s loyal companion was waiting for him in the exact same spot, and marked the reunion with an elegant swan dance.
Stefan said: “I was very happy to see the swan’s partner still waiting in the same place.
“It made this rescue even more special.”