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Swan rescued after alert girl spots it trapped in storm drain in Merrick

A swan was rescued from a storm drain in Merrick on Wednesday after having been spotted by a 5-year-old girl, as seen in this Facebook video posted by the Nassau County Police Department. Credit: NCPD

This swan dive sure went awry, not with a stinging belly flop, but with an actual swan that was trapped in a storm drain Wednesday — only to be rescued, thanks to a curious and caring 5-year-old girl.

The child, Olivia Cammarata, heard a strange noise from the drain near her Merrick home. So she walked over, and spotted the trapped bird — authorities said.

"She did the right thing," said Det. Michael Bitsko, with the Nassau County police. "All children, if they see something wrong -- tell your parents."

A humble Olivia returned the accolades back to police when she spoke to Newsday Thursday. "They got him out. ... That's what happened," she said while in the arms of her father, Michael.

The child named the swan "Peanut," Michael Cammarata said.

Police said Cammarata called police who found the creature, noting it appeared both trapped and distressed. They called in emergency services officers who got in touch with two licensed wildlife rehabilitators in the area.

One officer pried up the heavy storm drain cover, while a woman tried to scoop the large white bird up in a net, a video of the rescue provided by cops shows.

The swan, however, defended itself by biting the net, withdrawing as a man also equipped with a large net successfully scooped the bird up from the back. "Alright buddy, you're coming now," one of the men says as the second rescuer lifted the swan out and tucked it under his arm.

Freed around 10:25 a.m., the swan is "doing fine," Bitsko said.

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