Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Human Swan Injured on Migration

By Philpickin @philpickin
Human swan injured on migrationConservationist Sacha Dench has dislocated her kneecap whilst following the migration of Bewick’s swans in a paramotor.Ms Dench is tracking the swans for 7000km from Arctic Russia to the UK as part of a project by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) to uncover why their numbers have almost halved in Europe.She was attempting to take off from a field east of St Petersburg on Saturday when she stumbled on uneven ground, causing intense short-term pain.She rested it for a day but when she tried to launch again, the knee wasn’t strong enough. This morning she has an MRI scan in St Petersburg which confirmed that she’d temporarily dislocated her knee cap and that nothing is broken. The knee is still too weak for her to take off running, as she would normally, so she will adapt her paramotor with wheels, so she can take off without putting pressure on her knee. She hopes to continue her journey without too much delay.Sacha Dench said:“It was incredibly painful for a couple of minutes. My screams of pain were obviously heard quite some way away because, in true Russian style, an elderly couple suddenly appeared from the forest nearby and filled my pockets with cranberries that they'd picked 'as they are good for the health and healing' and they wished me success on my travels.“Unfortunately the cranberries didn’t work quickly enough for me to get back in the air on Monday and I’ve had to go for an MRI scan. The prognosis is as good as can be. I’ve not broken anything and I should be able to adapt the paramotor so that I’m on my way again very soon.“I’m still right in the midst of the Bewick’s swan migration and I’m looking forward to catching up with flocks of them at the wetlands near St Petersburg and further down the flyway. Injury is always a risk for paramotorists, just as it is for the swans, and we just hope that it won’t hold me up for too long.Along her journey, dubbed Flight of the Swans, Sacha Dench is trying to experience and record the migration as seen through the swans’ eyes. She is also meeting the people who live along the swans’ route, who could hold the key to understanding their

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