After Matthew Raifman heard that a mother swan had died in Boston, he headed to the Charles River Esplanade, camera in hand. There, he captured the incredible moment now making headlines of a ‘Papa Swan’ carrying his babies, known as cygnets, on his back.
“I texted my wife and said, ‘this is probably the best photo I’ve ever taken,’” Raifman told Jim Braude on Greater Boston. “I’d never seen anything like it before.” Raifman said he has since learned that equal parenting among fathers and mothers is common in the swan world.
Braude noted that the photo has struck an emotional chord among parents, especially fathers, who have said it has inspired them to be better parents.
“We’ve been looking for something that was uplifting in society after the last couple of years — but not something that was a fairy tale. That’s what’s unique about this story — it’s melancholy,” Raifman said. “There’s this loss and tragedy in it, but then there’s also this triumph and resilience in what we see of the papa swan taking care of his kin.”
WATCH: How Boston’s 'Papa Swan' became a sensation