Rescuing a swan on a busy highway involved an empty dry cleaning bag, the state troopers quick instinct

OAK PARK, MI – A wayward waterfowl hitched a ride in a State Police cruiser on Monday, March 14, potentially saving the animal from a crash on a busy highway here.

Trooper Michael McCuaig said he was standing near the state police’s Metro North Post in Oak Park on Monday morning when he noticed a swan flying above the tree line next to I-696 . The highway is positioned next to the police headquarters.

“I was like, ‘That’s a little weird,'” he said of the sighting. “Literally 30 seconds later we got a call from people saying a swan was blocking the left hand lane. I figured this thing was going to get hit for sure if we didn’t do something.

McCuaig and Trooper Brooke Buckner immediately jumped into a police cruiser to intercept the animal before the sighting turned into an accident, McCuaig said.

Once they arrived at the scene, McCuaig got out of the vehicle and was able to brace the swan against the concrete wall next to the freeway while Buckner stopped traffic.

“We slowly got there,” McCuaig said. “Once we got close enough, I just grabbed him by the edge of his wing and tried to be as gentle as possible while bringing him back to the ground.”

McCuaig said he and Buckner then used an empty dry-cleaning bag from the police car to secure the animal, slipping it face-first inside.

“I happened to have the laundry bag in my patrol car that day,” McCuaig said.

With the swan as a passenger, the soldiers returned to the state police station. There the swan became a guest for about two hours. Officials contacted Michigan Duck Rescue and Sanctuary, based in Plymouth Township, who sent a volunteer to retrieve the swan.

“He was a little nervous,” McCuaig said of the swan, “but I don’t think he was hurt too badly. His feet were a little scraped, but I don’t think anything was broken.

State Police shared photos of the Swan, McCuaig and other soldiers shortly after the rescue on the Metro North Post Twitter page. The post caught the attention of several media outlets, McCuaig said.

“I didn’t think it would explode as much as it did,” he said. “It’s kinda funny”

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