Alexander and Vitaly Drozdov were walking along the Mazā Jugla River outside Riga, Latvia, one spring day when they heard some weird splashes coming from a distant inlet.
“We decided to come closer to see what is happening,” Alexander says by email.
The brothers, both photographers, discovered two mute swans struggling in the water, their necks desperately entangled.
Surprisingly, the birds paddled over and allowed Alexander to gingerly separate their entwined necks and wings. Meanwhile, Vitaly filmed the rescue, which took place in 2009 but has only recently gone viral on Facebook and on YouTube.
“Honestly, I was really surprised when the swan swam to my feet, like he heard and understood what I was saying,” Alexander says.
“I thought only not to break anything. Because everything is white, it took some time to figure out” which wing belonged to which bird, he says.
For his part, Alexander, who describes himself and Vitaly as naturalists passionate about wildlife photography, was glad he could help.
“We were really happy to be in the right place in the right time,” he says.
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