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'The few descriptions of Irkutsk had spoken of it as the Paris of Siberia'
Mrs John Clarence Lee, 1914

Lev the lost swan goes home to its flock for Christmas

By The Siberian Times reporter
22 December 2017

Bird flies 500 km off course and tries to make its winter home at impossibly cold lake mountain before firefighters come to the rescue.

Local firefighters took pity on the swan, which they named Lev (Lion in Russian) in recognition of the animal’s fierce appetite, strong wings, and desire to escape humans and fly away. Picture: Saylyugem Nature Reserve

The lost whooper swan chose the wrong place in the Altai Mountains for winter after losing its flock. 

Finskoye Lake in Kosh-Agach is famed for its thick ice and severe winters. 

The lone swan tried to settle but with temperatures at minus 40C this was never going to be comfortable.

Worse, the local dogs kept trying to chase the stray bird.

Local firefighters took pity on the swan, which they named Lev (Lion in Russian) in recognition of the animal’s fierce appetite, strong wings, and desire to escape humans and fly away. 

The firemen passed their unusual fosterling to rangers at Saylyugem Nature Reserve who in turn handed on the lost bird to their colleagues at Lebediniy (literally Swan) Nature Reserve.

Lev the lost swan goes home to its flock for Christmas


Lev the lost swan goes home to its flock for Christmas


Lev the lost swan goes home to its flock for Christmas


Lev the lost swan goes home to its flock for Christmas
Local firefighters took pity on the swan, which they named Lev (Lion in Russian) in recognition of the animal’s fierce appetite, strong wings, and desire to escape humans and fly away. Picture: Saylyugem Nature Reserve


Here the swan will join up with its flock which wisely chose to winter at the unusual and scenic Svetloe Lake. 

Fed by warm springs, it stays unfrozen for the winter despite the harsh Siberian temperatures. 

The water remains at a mild 6C even when the air reaches minus 40C.

Some 350 swans are currently at the lake, which has risen in popularity for whoopers since 1967 when the first 15 suddenly arrived. 

Lev the lost swan goes home to its flock for Christmas


Lev the lost swan goes home to its flock for Christmas


Lev the lost swan goes home to its flock for Christmas


Lev the lost swan goes home to its flock for Christmas
Real-life Swan Lake in the Altai region. Pictures: Alexei Ebel


Lev is expected to be released today after the bird’s Altai Mountain odyssey. 

The lake is popular with photographers for remarkable scenes of the wintering swans. 

Lev the swan is expected to be released today. Pictures below: Saylyugem Nature Reserve

Lev the lost swan goes home to its flock for Christmas


Lev the lost swan goes home to its flock for Christmas


Lev the lost swan goes home to its flock for Christmas

Comments (7)

At last...a happy story with a happy ending. "And they all lived happily ever after". (Applause).
Jaker, Dundalk
03/01/2018 08:09
0
0
I agree with everyone's comments and Thank you for taking action. I realize that it is not Christmas in Russia just yet but this is a wonderful present to wake up to this morning on this side of the "pond" so-to-speak, or "lake" for Lev and his flock....:-).
Pamela Tetarenko, League City, United States
25/12/2017 17:59
2
0
Great job! Always glad when people help the innocent.
alan fasgold, usa, oklahoma
25/12/2017 10:46
3
0
Magnificient and lucky bird. Thanks !
Firemen are brave and efficient all around the world. Merry christmas to them and to Siberian Times listeners.
Jocelyne, FRANCE
24/12/2017 21:00
4
0
Great story!! Well done Lev !! Hope our football team Swansea City (Swans) are as lucky as you.
Caroline Ridler, Wales
23/12/2017 22:51
6
0
What a heartwarming story. Well done to all involved.
Malcolm, Scotland
23/12/2017 14:47
7
0
and ( hopefully) lev will live happily ever after..
3 cheers to the men who made this possible!nice to see and read that there ARE people around who care.
Benedikt MORAK, Moscow
23/12/2017 06:54
8
0
1

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