Two Latvian brothers made a strange find in the Mazā Jugla River, near Riga, the country's capital. While the moment began as a simple video capture of the phenomenon (below), it soon turned into a much more direct intervention. Two grown swans had somehow gotten tangled together and were painstakingly paddling down the river, in obvious discomfort.
It would have been difficult for anyone to do much about it at first, as the swans were floating in the middle of the river. But as the men were filming, it seemed like the swans noticed them and settled for a last-ditch resort — asking for help. "Honestly, I was really surprised when (the) swan (swam) to my feet," Alexander Drozdov, one of the brothers, told National Geographic of the animal who took charge of the swimming. "Like he heard and (understood) what I was saying."
Their perplexing predicament was likely a consequence of the birds fighting, National Geographic suggests. "The males typically fight to protect their breeding territory from intruding swans trying to usurp the territory," Smithsonian bird expert Brian K. Schmidt told the publication. Nevertheless, they had gotten themselves in the same mess together, and it seems they were willing to cooperate — long enough for the human beings to split them up, at least.
Slowly and carefully, Drozdov took to untangling the birds' limbs and setting them back the way they were meant to be folded, as his brother Vitaly recorded the entire process. The moment almost feels frozen in time, with the birds neither making a peep nor moving a muscle as they allow Drozdov to rescue them. Finally, the two birds are liberated and immediately get to roam free by the end of the video. If they could speak, they would certainly express their gratitude, but the brothers got to settle for a beautiful display of flapping wings instead.
Check out the video below to see the rescue in action, then share it with your friends!