Injured swan is off the hook, thanks to Cary retiree

CARY, NC (WTVD) -- One could say Cary resident Rod Kulyk has an affinity for animals. The retired electronics engineer lives in Cary's Lochmere subdivision and visits the swans, turtles, and ducks at a pond near his home.

"I enjoy watching the wildlife out here," Kulyk said. "I come down here and check on them; make sure they're safe."

Nearly two weeks ago, Kulyk noticed one of the swans at a pond near his home in distress. A barbed fishing lure was stuck in the foot of the pond's female swan.

"This is recklessly discarded, fishing debris," Kulyk said. "Any time these birds down here are hooked by fishing, recklessly discarded fishing debris, you might as well take a gun out and try to shoot them."

Kulyk reached out to Lochmere HOA and referred him to Cary Animal Control. Staff at the animal control facility told him they were unable to assist unless the swan was on dry land.

Kulyk's next steps proved to be best. He left a trail of lettuce from the shoreline to a grassy area more than 20 feet away. "Then I went home," he admitted.

His wife returned home and passed by the pond and noticed the swan eating the lettuce. She called her husband, who proceeded to call Cary Animal Control.

According to Kulyk, animal control showed up within 15 minutes. He kept the swan fed and distracted until an officer was able to get a hold of the swan.

With "about six barbs" in the swan's foot, the entire process took less than five minutes. "It went down smooth and quick," said Kulyk. "I was happy to see it all over."

"(The swan) immediately returned to the pond and she was wagging her tail. And she was happy after that," Kulyk said. "She lived happily ever after."

After a few congratulatory remarks, the situation was over. "I keep my eye out for problems. If I see a problem, I try to get it fixed," Kulyk said.

Since the story first aired, he has received solicitations from others to help look after the swans and other wildlife. "The best way for this to not happen again is to eliminate the source of the problem," he added.

Kulyk wants Lochmere HOA to make fishing permits mandatory in the neighborhood.
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