In early June an injured swan was brought into Associated Humane Societies of Newark, our main branch. The swan was picked up in the area around Newark’s Weequahic Park. He couldn't walk and was struggling to get out of the way of cars in a parking lot. He was initially checked out by our medical staff and then sent right down to Popcorn Park.
He was fed and then rested overnight. The next morning our veterinarian took a closer look and found the he had a badly broken fibula. We couldn't cast the leg so we wrapped the break and then wrapped his leg to his body to restrict any movement. He was put up in a dry pen. This happened on a Friday. The next Monday we received a call from Weequahic Park asking if a swan had come down to us, the staff there was very concerned about him and had heard that their beloved swan "Geronimo” had been brought to Popcorn Park. After explaining his injuries and rehab they asked to come visit and wanted to know if Geronimo could come back to his home when he was well enough.
We were changing the wrap weekly and by the third week the break was healing nicely and on the fourth week we took off all the wraps. Even though the bone was healed he still could not use his leg to walk, however, with the wrap off he could get into some water. We put Geronimo in the pond in the llama’s yard, he loved it!
He needed to swim and start moving his injured leg in order to strengthen the bone and the muscles he hadn't been using for the last four weeks. We taped a wing so he wouldn't try to fly off. Little by little he started to use his injured leg while swimming and after about a week he was using it well. By the next week he was able to come out of the pond a little more onto land each time, still not able to carry his weight and walk but enough to get around in a small area. One morning during the fourth week out in the pond, Mike (who had been feeding him in the mornings) came running in and said Geronimo was walking. We all went out to the pond, and sure enough he was walking! We were so proud to see how far he had come and that meant he would soon be going home.
After another week of swimming therapy and seeing how well he was walking we called Weequahic Park to let them know and arrange for him to go home and reunite with his mate. On Monday August 10th he did just that among a crowd of Weequahic Park staff and the children who go to camp there. Popcorn Park and AHS of Newark staff released Geronimo back into the lake he calls home. His mate was not around the site at the time (it was pretty busy because of Geronimo’s return) but I'm sure they found each other soon afterwards, we’re waiting for some updates from the park.
Please help support Popcorn Park's efforts to assist animals in need and make a donation. You can see more photos of Geronimo's journey here.