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‘Mother swan’ on Esplanade died Monday, officials say

A swan family makes a home on the Charles River Esplanade on the Boston side on May 25.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The Charles River Esplanade’s “mother swan” died Monday night, officials said in a tweet.

“We’re saddened to report that the mother swan of the adorable Esplanade swan family passed away last night in her nest,” the tweet from the Esplanade association said.

The swan had hatched a group of cygnets beginning on May 24, the association said on Twitter.

Boston Animal Control removed the swan from her nest “while the father swan sat at the nest with their cygnets tucked under his wings,” according to the tweet.

Photographer Sylvia Zarco, who has documented the swan family on Instagram since April, described the mother swan’s final moments in a post.


“I quickly realized something was wrong with mom,” Zarco wrote. “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. She stumbled when she stood, couldn’t swim straight and whatever she did, she only propelled herself backward.”

“When it was clear she couldn’t get back to the nest, he seemed to help her to the opposite shore where she eventually put her head on the rocks so she wouldn’t drown. But by the time Boston Animal Control (thank you Brad) could come to her aid, she had already died,” the post continued.

A family of swans whose mother died was lead by the father swan in the lagoon on the Boston side of the Charles River on Tuesday.Jim Davis/Globe Staff
A cygnet looked out from under the feathers between both parents on May 25. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Charlie McKenna can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @charliemckenna9.