NEW BETHLEHEM – It’s a harrowing adventure involving ice, rushing water and wild animals, and the hope is that in the end all will be well on Red Bank Creek.

This is the saga of local efforts to rescue the family of swans after at least two of them were swept down the creek during the flood earlier this month.

After hearing reports around town that two swans were spotted down a back road near the Distant Fire Hall, Terry Noerr, with the help of Jerry Shoemaker and others, was able to capture and return the male swan to its home behind the VFW in New Bethlehem on Sunday, Jan. 28.

“He came after me to bite me and I was able to grab him,” Noerr, who was part of the group instrumental in bringing the pair of swans to the area, said Tuesday of how he was able to get a hold of the swan. “I guess he was trying to protect his territory.”

However, Noerr noted, multiple attempts that Sunday and Monday to retrieve the female swan were unsuccessful.

“We tried for nearly three hours yesterday [Monday] to get her, but she kept swimming out into the water,” he said, adding that efforts to reunite the female with her mate and babies will continue. In fact, one possible plan under consideration is to use the male swan to lure her into a kennel to transport back to New Bethlehem. “We’ll get her sooner or later.”

Noerr said he believes all four swans, the two older birds and their two cygnets, were carried down the creek when the ice went out on Jan. 12. One of the younger swans has been reunited with its father behind the VFW, while reports indicate the other may have taken up shelter near the trestle in South Bethlehem.

Despite their harrowing adventure, Noerr said all of the birds appear to be no worse for the wear.

“They all seem fine,” he said.

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