Park watchdogs Anne-Katrin Titze and Ed Bahlman first noticed last week that their beloved cygnet had a hook through its webbed foot that was trailing a 10-foot-long fishing line.
They dubbed the gray cygnet Achilles, after the legendary Greek warrior with the tragically weak ankle.
The pair then hatched a plan to capture Achilles and remove the hook — at whatever cost.
“We waited for him to jump out of the water to preen himself and I got in between him and the lake and grabbed him,” said Bahlman. “He squealed like a pig.”
Bahlman held the panicked bird from behind while Titze — a licensed wildlife rehabilitator — swooped in with a pair of pliers and removed the hook, which still had a tiny shred of fowl-flesh on it hours later.
By Sunday, Achilles was back to his normal self, flying and feeding on breadcrumbs given to him by park-goers (which is against park rules, by the way).