HAMPTON BAYS, NY (CBSNewYork) — A swan that was rescued after being found impaled with an arrow has been released back into the wild.
WCBS 880's Sophia Hall With The Happy Ending
The swan was found in July with a hunting arrow sticking through its body near Indian Island County Park.
Since then, it's been recovering at the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays.
"Just to see the arrow going completely through the bird, you have to get it at close range and you have to aim right at the bird to do that," said executive director Mark Lembo said when the swan was found.
"It's a miracle. Just how fortunate it was that the arrow missed the vitals," said Suffolk County SPCA head Roy Gross. "You can just imagine how this thing had suffered for the couple of the days that it was swimming around with the arrow through it."
The Suffolk County SPCA and officials from the wildlife center released the now healthy swan Tuesday morning at the golf course where it was found in Riverhead.
"I recall going back to the facility and they felt it had nerve damage, it couldn't even walk and we really didn't think it was going to make it," said Gross. "We're so happy today to be able to go there and see the release of the swan back into the wild where it belongs."
Gross said it didn't take long for the swan to realize what was happening.
"As soon as it saw the water, it just looked at that water like, I'm home," said Gross. "It was just such a wonderful experience to see that swan after what it's been through."
There have been a number of attacks against wild animals in Suffolk County in recent months.
In July, a seagull was killed in Montauk when officials say someone threw a rock the size of a brick at the bird after luring it down to the beach with some bread.
An Eastern Box Turtle was found in Smithtown with a nail driven through its shell. It was expected to make a full recovery.
"I've never seen all of these cases before and I've been doing this for 28 years. It's very disturbing," Gross said back in July.
The Suffolk SPCA is now offering a $14,750 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for shooting the swan.
Anyone with information about this or any of the above cases should call the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722.
Animal cruelty is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine.
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