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Swan song: German firefighters remove 'mourning' bird blocking railway line


Police and firefighters in Germany were forced to intervene to move an apparently “mourning” swan that was blocking a high-speed railway line, according to a statement released by the rescuers on Monday.

The swan was pictured blocking the line near Fuldatal, causing at least 20 trains to be cancelled, after a second swan was killed when it flew into the overhead line above the tracks.

After the accident the second swan settled on the railway tracks below, preventing trains from passing on the route from Kassel to Göttingen. According to reports in local media, firefighters brought in specialist equipment to remove the dead swan from the overhead lines and the second swan from the tracks, taking it to the Fulda river where it was released.

According to police, 23 trains were delayed by around 50 minutes in the incident, which happened on 23 December but was only revealed five days later.

It has been observed before that swans apparently mourn their mates, with the birds remaining near the site of another’s death.



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