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Kume Island’s pet swan succumbs

Date Posted: 2004-01-15

A swan that apparently had gotten lost on its annual migration landed on Kume Island on Nov. 27, where it was attacked by a flock of crows that pecked it almost to death. Local people finally managed to chase the crows away and took the bird to a vet. Dr. Takashi Nagamine nursed the swan, and it seemed to gain strength by day. The swan had become a minor celebrity as it was shown in the national TV, and local people had even formed an association to protect it and started fundraising efforts.

However, everything was not right. “First it seemed to recover very well, but then I noticed that something was wrong. It stopped eating on Jan. 4, and weakened rapidly. Then it died Sunday,” Dr. Nagamine explained.

He is not sure why the bird suddenly died. “She was very weak when I first got her but was then doing quite all right. I can only think that she somehow got mold in her respiratory system, and she was not strong enough to survive that. I am really sad for her,” Nagamine said.

The plans now call for giving the donated funds to the local Bird Watching Society. The swan will be stuffed and placed on display in the Town Office. “The hardest part is to explain this to children. They wanted her to survive so badly,” an official at the town office says.

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