A schoolboy and his mum rescued a cygnet from Walton Colliery Nature Park that had been abandoned by its parents after its leg was injured.
Mckenzie Gelder-Brown, 11, and mum Samantha Brown, 43, noticed the young swan at the beauty spot and, having checked over the course of a few days that it was alone, took it home.
It was a four-hour mission to coax the nervous bird from its hiding place but Mckenzie, a keen animal lover, formed an immediate bond with the cygnet, which they named Stitch.
Samantha, from Sharlston, said: “She’s hadn’t been with her mum from at least Tuesday until Friday so when we took her home all she did was just snuggle and sleep.
“She must have really alert all that time she spent by herself because I’ve seen mink at the park, as well as geese and crows, which all would have been predators – she is such a true survivor
“Mckenzie absolutely loved it. He said he had never felt anything as soft in his life.
“It’s the first time he spent time that close to a cygnet and he fell in love with it.
“We thought of the name because we knew she would need a stitch in her foot from being bitten.”
Samantha took advice from the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital, based at Selby, for how to look after Stitch and then passed her on to the centre.
Stitch will remain in their care until she is old enough to fend for herself and be released into a nature reserve.
Samantha said Stitch unfortunately could not be returned to Walton as after 48 hours away from her parents they would be likely to abandon her again or kill her.
But Mckenzie is hopeful he will be reunited with her when she is released later this year.
Samantha and Mckenzie are members of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and plan to volunteer with the swan rescue centre.
Samantha said: “It’s just something we are very passionate about. Some kids sit in on their videogame consoles and don’t know what’s out there.
“And if we can help any animal in distress we will do. Mckenzie adores nature as much as I do.”
Visit www.ysrh.org.uk to donate to the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital,