Swan's flap shows power of love

Updated: 2010-12-21 10:42


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Anyone who thought that love and affection are strictly human characteristics has clearly never heard of the swans of Side Park.

There, on a pond in Chaoyang district in Beijing, live six big birds - three black swans, two white swans and a goose.

On Sunday, the white female swan surprised Liu Hangjian who looks after the birds by walking away from the water across the frozen surface and over to Liu's room, apparently to raise the alarm and let him know that her mate was missing.

"She used her beak to knock on the glass and kept making a noise," he said. "She looked very anxious, which is something I had not seen before."

He said he went to the pond to see what was the matter and noticed that the other white swan, the male, was missing.

Liu immediately called the Beijing Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center and was told that the center had just received a call from a resident who had spotted the missing white swan in a nearby river.

Liu said that his crafty swan eluded those trying to catch it and next turned up close to a beauty salon near the Chongqing Hotel. "Barbers from the salon caught him and called the police," he said.

The swan was back in the park early Monday morning and Liu clipped its wing feathers so it will not be able to fly off again.

He said he might not have noticed the bird was missing for some time if not for the love of the swan's mate. He speculated that the warmer weather of the previous few days may have impacted the male swan.

Swans are well known as being birds that mate for life.


1. What is the name of the park?

2. Which swan surprised Liu?

3. What day did the swan come back?


1. Side Park.

2. The female one.

3. Monday.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Swan's flap shows power of love

About the broadcaster:

Swan's flap shows power of love

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.


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