This has made them quite adept escape artists -- a skill our patient showcased quite well when we would try to fish him out of the rehabilitation pool after his daily swim -- and may have been how he escaped from the dog attack.
Having grown accustomed to this feisty temperament during rehabilitation, we expected quite a dramatic scene when he was finally approved for release. A group of us brought him down to the Harlem Meer in Central Park and gently removed the lid from the top of his cage, looking to see if he would escape before we had lifted it away.
But he surprised us by sitting quite still, looking around with a demure, innocent expression. He took a few steps, sat back down, and then with a little nudging stepped placidly into the water and slowly swam away.