Swan dad steps up to raise his babies after momma passed away

A pair of swans became the main attraction of the Charles River Esplanade in Boston, Massachusetts. Things got even more interesting, when seven of their nine eggs hatched!

“We first noticed they had a nest along the pillars by the lagoon,” Emma Feeney, staff at the Esplanade Association, explained to the Dodo. “A total of nine eggs had been laid by early May, and a few days ago the cygnets began hatching.”

But unfortunately, what seemed like a perfect moment into the swans lives, quickly turned into a terrible tragedy. Sadly, the mother swan passed away due to an illness while on her nest, looking for her babies.

Matthew Raifman

“She was resting, sheltering her cygnets like the great mom she’s been for the past week. But she couldn’t lift and hold up her head,” said Zarco, an animal enthusiast. “She stumbled when she stood, couldn’t swim straight and whatever she did, she only propelled herself backwards.”

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With the mother gone, now all the responsibilities went on the dad’s shoulders, who found himself in the tough situation of taking care of seven cygnets without any help. But as it later turned out, the heroic dad covered the gap of the mother loss and looked after his babies all by himself.

Upon hearing the terrible news, a team from the Boston Animal Control came at the lagoon to investigate what happened with the swan babies. But to their surprise, the swan dad was there to protect them. “We just found [the father] sitting at the nest with their cygnets tucked under his wings,” the officials wrote.

In the absence of their mother, the father swan made sure he plays both the mom’s and dad’s role. So he even took his tiny little babies on his back, during a swim on the lagoon. The adorable moment was caught on camera by Matthew Raifman, who was fascinated by the sighting.

“I noticed something was kind of unusual,” the photographer told WBZ-TV. “All the baby cygnets were on top of the papa swan.” He even called the scene “the most heartbreaking and heartwarming stories in a while.”


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Swans are usually mating for life, and while they tend to share their parenting duties, is the mothers that mostly deal with it. So seeing a father taking all the responsibilities is definitely a sight to behold. Thankfully, in this particular situation, all the cygnets are thriving thanks to this so devoted father!


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“They seem to be doing well,” Feeney said. “You can tell that he’s just a great, great father to them. It’s very adorable. They’ve been through so much, but they seem so strong.”

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