By Hayley Pugh
A swan stranded in rush hour traffic has been rescued by a kind-hearted man who walked the lost bird back home to safety.
Jack McGrath, from Limerick in Ireland, was walking back from his shift at the bookmakers when he spotted the troubled swan dodging traffic on the Sarsfield bridge.
The 24-year-old, who is also a student at Limerick Institute of Technology, immediately stepped in to help the feathered wanderer and spent more than 15 minutes guiding it across the road and down the steps back to the river.
The incredible encounter was caught on camera by Deirdre Power – a photographer who happened to be passing at the time.
Remarkably Jack managed to guide the disorientated bird to safety by pointing and whistling.
He said: “It was a Saturday evening and I had just finished work inside in town so I was walking home over the bridge as I only live around 100 metres past it.
“As I was getting towards the end of the bridge there were two American tourists assessing the swan.
“They were two women in their late sixties. They didn’t have much lifting power between them so asked me for my help.
“Having a soft spot for animals meant I was never going to ignore the poor fella.
“I decided to call on limerick animal welfare to seek their assistance but they are based some 25 miles away from the city and in the middle of a busy rush hour I couldn’t risk waiting around as the bridge was full of traffic.
“With the help of the girl on the phone I assessed the swan for any injuries but she looked to be fine just stunned by all the traffic and commotion around her.
“I was trying to direct the swan down the safest way possible but she got other ideas and took off onto the road so I started whistling and calling her.
“Then she seemed to entrust me that I was helping her find her way back to the river so from there on just followed wherever I would point and whistle to go.
“I was actually with the swan for about 15 minutes maybe longer before Deirdre the photographer passed and couldn’t believe what she was seeing as people were all looking on in bemusement at the sight of me walking along the bridge side by side with the swan as if it were my pet dog.
“I actually didn’t realise Deirdre was taking pictures of me until I got down the stairs nearest to the river and saw she was behind me.
“I have a golden retriever called Mollie which is where my love for animals started so I could never leave an animal in distress like that.”