Sunday, March 18, 2007

Swan Abuse in the Akron Area

Catching up with the news today, I found a disturbing report in Saturday's ABJ about the arrest of a man who had an injured wild swan in his car. The twenty year old suspect had just assaulted two neighbors and his mother, when police arrived and discovered the poor creature in the back seat. The story says that the swan:

"...was turned over to a Parks and Recreation Department worker and taken to a Street Department garage where the Lake Anna swans spend the winter.

The bird died the next day. It is not known whether [the suspect] found the swan injured or if it was hurt during the capture....

Peg Myers, a police records clerk, said the bird did not belong to the Lake Anna flock."

Some questions immediately leap to mind: Why was the injured swan taken to a garage? Should it not have been taken to an animal hospital?

Interesting that the Lake Anna swans are kept in a garage all winter. I have often wondered where the Summit Lake swans go during the cold months. And I really hope the dead swan is not one of ours.

Two summers after I moved into the Summit Lake area, the first pair of swans showed up on the lake. Such beautiful creatures! I am always amazed by the startling whiteness of their feathers, even as the swans float on this dirty old lake. The very next year, only one swan returned. I wondered every time I saw it what had happened to it's partner. The swan joined in the lake's growing water fowl community and certainly did not suffer for lack of companionship with all the ducks, geese and coots that make their homes here. The next summer, a new pair showed up at Summit Lake, forming a gliding trio that has expanded to at least three pairs plus the solo swan. (We also have in residence one blue heron. I keep hoping that it will show up with a mate one year.) Two of our current Summit Lake swans are pictured above.

The State of Ohio Wildlife Department is about to release 150 trumpeter swans into marsh lands around the state. Trumpeters have black beaks and are said to be native to this state, although there is some controversy over this. The OWD says that mute swans (the type that reside on Summit Lake with orange beaks) are exotics from Asia and Europe. Personally, I don't care where they came from. They are beautiful to contemplate and they bring life and add character to our lake.

I am still amazed that such creatures can live and seemingly thrive on the site of a lake that was once the repository for toxic factory wastes. Another Summit Lake resident once told me that the lakeside denizens had been pushing for a lake clean-up but were told that the cost of clearing the lake bottom of all the pollution was beyond anybody's ability to pay.

1 comment:

sab said...

I ran into some swans one time canoeing in northern Michigan. THey didn't do anything but glare (maybe they didn't glare- I can't read bird minds), but they were scary. In a little canoe, all of a sudden those swans are big. They were taller than me, and they could move much faster with their padle feet than I could with my paddle. They are beautiful, however,