April 18, 2012
Mute Swan Attacks and Kills Man on Kayak in Chicago Pond
By Chad Love
Outside of animal rights organizations that routinely block attempts to control or eliminate it, you won't find many fans of the mute swan, an invasive species that adversely affects native waterfowl and shorebird populations wherever it spreads. It's an altogether nasty, ill-tempered and destructive bird. But now it appears you can add murder to its list of negative attributes.
From this bizarre story on abcnews.com:
An angry swan is being blamed for knocking a man out of his kayak in a Chicago pond and then continuing to attack until the man drowned. Anthony Hensley, 37, of Villa Park, Ill., worked for a company called Knox Swan & Dog which used swans and dogs to keep geese off the condominum’s properties.
Hensley was in a kayak on the condo’s retention pond checking on the animals Saturday morning when one of the swans swam at him, causing him to fall out of his kayak into the water.
...Two witnesses saw Hensley resurface a few times in the pond and called police, but by the time crews arrived he had been fully submerged. He was not wearing a life vest...
News accounts said the swan continued to attack Hensley as he struggled in the water. Admittedly, this is an unusual way to lose your life, but I could easily see how it could happen, especially if I were in the middle of a pond, fully clothed and without a PFD, as Hensley apparently was. Think you could make it back to shore while fighting off an enraged swan?