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Chad Love: Steel Shot or Counseling for "Murderous" Swans?

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October 07, 2009

Chad Love: Steel Shot or Counseling for "Murderous" Swans?

By Chad Love

First off, a hat tip to David DiBenedetto from the "Man's Best Friend" blog, who passed along this story and video below...

From the article "Swans of Prospect Park Go From Elegant to Murderous:"

At 60 acres, Prospect Park Lake in Brooklyn would seem to be big enough for two pairs of swans. And for a while, it was. One pair kept happily to the south end, and the other struck around the northern half, their white feathers contrasting with the greens and browns of the park, to the delight of picnickers and wedding parties.

But this year, both pairs had families, and that neighborly dynamic came to a fast — and surprisingly violent — halt.

The couple in the southern end of the lake, raising four brown cygnets, are trying to drive out the other family, which has one cygnet. The southern father — wings beating, back hunched and neck extended — streaks across the lake with a wake behind him and repeatedly jumps on members of the other family.

...Shocked to see the serene, gliding, elegant creatures suddenly turned into apparent would-be killers, Brooklyn residents, from neighboring Park Slope to Sunset Park, have stepped in, trying to stop the swan-on-swan violence and even calling city and state agencies for help. But officials and animal experts say the residents’ concern is misplaced. After all, this is how nature sometimes plays out. They are refusing to take action.

Now this raises some interesting philosophical conundrums for your average animal-rights supporter. We all know how committed the animal rights movement is to eliminating all forms of human-caused "violence" toward animals. It's evil and unnatural, you see. But what about this animal-on-animal mayhem? Is that evil and unnatural, too? Just how the hell do you convince animals to be the mellow, vegan, peace-loving sentient beings you know they long to be? Lectures? Sensitivity Training? Guidance counselors?

I would truly love to know how PETA would handle this delicate situation.

However, since the swans in question are mute swans click here to find out how any waterfowl hunter along the shores of Chesapeake Bay would handle the situation, and it certainly wouldn't be a question of lectures, training or counselors. More like steel, tungsten or bismuth?

Comments (16)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

"Ah! Now we see the violence inherent in the system!"
-- Michael Palin

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from lawson26 wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Do they have nothing better to do with their day then sit with swans??

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

If you read the article about Swans in the Cheasapeake the PETA dissenters claim the swans do less damage than people. That sure as hell didn't stop PETA from having a very large HQ in the tidewater right there where a wetland could be.
As for swan control, Tundra Swans being my only experience, I prefer heavy shot. Being as you could stalk these I think a bow and arrow would be kinda cool and very city limit friendly.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Mike, you just quoted one of my all-time favorite Python scenes...

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I would love to be present when one of these swan lovers tries to intervine and the swans turn on them....they can be very mean and aggressive...I've been chased by them, and it was not a pleasant experience...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

This is what happens when we remove ourselves so far from the natural world. I wonder how these folks would react if a bobcat or coyote attacked rather than the same species?

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from weaklandjr wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I love how they are trying to change nature to fit their idea of how the world should be.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from RichardF wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

My solution would be a blind in the middle of the lake the first swan to fly by would turn into Thanksgiving dinner and solve the turf debate.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from OrangeNeckInNY wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

They have mighty long necks. I would use a Gobble Guillotine.

BTW, I live not far from Prospect Park.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

This is normal Mute Swan behavior, just shows folks don't know snot about Swans. Swans are very, very territorial and will drive off other waterfowl, especially when cygnets are involved! Yep everything has two sides, there is a reason why big white swans are serene, because most of the other wildlife has learned not to mess with 'em. Geese can be pretty aggressive, but swans are geese on steroids with an attitude to match.
There are northern lakes where they annually have to shoot the swans to make it safe for other waterfowl, Swans are bullies.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Bella's right-- swans are very territorial and they can also be very tollerant of other waterfoul, just depends on the situation and the time of year. The people who live on the lake need to keep out of Mother Natures business, she will work out things her own way.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from bluecollarkid wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Another pest they're trying to get rid of on the eastern shore of Maryland is snow geese for the same reasons they're shooting all the swans - they eat so much grass that it makes it hard for crabs and fish to breed and survive long enough to make a difference in the population.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rweedin wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

The Post article is great. Get rid of these birds. McKnight wants to eliminate these birds based on information gathered, PETA wants to keep them based on emotions... I wonder which one should be considered more relevent.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rweedin wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Can you kill these birds, as a hunter, because they are non-native and invasive?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nycflyangler wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

This sort of thing isn't an isolated incident in the wilds of New York City.

here's the saga of Robert and Sailor.

http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/NDG/Ducks/Robert.html

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nycflyangler wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I doubt counseling would work and hunting is illegal in the city.

They're going to have to let the swans work this out themselves.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

"Ah! Now we see the violence inherent in the system!"
-- Michael Palin

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

If you read the article about Swans in the Cheasapeake the PETA dissenters claim the swans do less damage than people. That sure as hell didn't stop PETA from having a very large HQ in the tidewater right there where a wetland could be.
As for swan control, Tundra Swans being my only experience, I prefer heavy shot. Being as you could stalk these I think a bow and arrow would be kinda cool and very city limit friendly.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

This is what happens when we remove ourselves so far from the natural world. I wonder how these folks would react if a bobcat or coyote attacked rather than the same species?

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from weaklandjr wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I love how they are trying to change nature to fit their idea of how the world should be.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Mike, you just quoted one of my all-time favorite Python scenes...

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Bella's right-- swans are very territorial and they can also be very tollerant of other waterfoul, just depends on the situation and the time of year. The people who live on the lake need to keep out of Mother Natures business, she will work out things her own way.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from lawson26 wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Do they have nothing better to do with their day then sit with swans??

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I would love to be present when one of these swan lovers tries to intervine and the swans turn on them....they can be very mean and aggressive...I've been chased by them, and it was not a pleasant experience...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RichardF wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

My solution would be a blind in the middle of the lake the first swan to fly by would turn into Thanksgiving dinner and solve the turf debate.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from OrangeNeckInNY wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

They have mighty long necks. I would use a Gobble Guillotine.

BTW, I live not far from Prospect Park.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

This is normal Mute Swan behavior, just shows folks don't know snot about Swans. Swans are very, very territorial and will drive off other waterfowl, especially when cygnets are involved! Yep everything has two sides, there is a reason why big white swans are serene, because most of the other wildlife has learned not to mess with 'em. Geese can be pretty aggressive, but swans are geese on steroids with an attitude to match.
There are northern lakes where they annually have to shoot the swans to make it safe for other waterfowl, Swans are bullies.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bluecollarkid wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Another pest they're trying to get rid of on the eastern shore of Maryland is snow geese for the same reasons they're shooting all the swans - they eat so much grass that it makes it hard for crabs and fish to breed and survive long enough to make a difference in the population.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rweedin wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

The Post article is great. Get rid of these birds. McKnight wants to eliminate these birds based on information gathered, PETA wants to keep them based on emotions... I wonder which one should be considered more relevent.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rweedin wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Can you kill these birds, as a hunter, because they are non-native and invasive?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nycflyangler wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

This sort of thing isn't an isolated incident in the wilds of New York City.

here's the saga of Robert and Sailor.

http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/NDG/Ducks/Robert.html

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nycflyangler wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I doubt counseling would work and hunting is illegal in the city.

They're going to have to let the swans work this out themselves.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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