Traverse City Record-Eagle

Our Views

July 21, 2013

Editorial: Swan song

The bad-ending vibe was pretty strong early on, when some residents of Grand Traverse County’s Silver Lake fretted that a big — and to many, regal —presence vanished from their lake.

A male mute swan that called the lake home for years suddenly was nowhere to be seen, nowhere near his mate and offspring, a major out-of-character performance for an individual bird and species known to be extremely family oriented.

Swan devotees and nature lovers alike worried that something had happened to the huge bird, especially after he’d lashed out at several people, including a child, as they recreated on Silver Lake.

Alas, state Department of Natural Resources officials on Thursday—after previously dodging calls from a Record-Eagle reporter and lakefront residents — finally acknowledged the truth: a wildlife officer shot and killed the swan July 13 after the DNR fielded several complaints about the bird’s aggressive behavior.

Mute swans are considered an invasive specie in Michigan, apparently akin to zebra mussels in some eyes, and the DNR typically doesn’t shed a tear when they have a chance to trim their population. Frankly, they can’t and shouldn’t be blamed for killing the swan because it appears the bird certainly posed a threat to some lake denizens, particularly those who care to ply the waters with personal watercraft.

But the shame of this situation is that the swan seems to have taken an instinctively aggressive turn to protect its family only after being targeted for harassment by imbeciles on personal watercraft. Sadly, a segment of our society derives some enjoyment from bullying people or animals, and such doltish behavior effectively earned the Silver Lake swan a death sentence.

The swan’s tormentors ought to be ashamed, but that’s probably expecting too much of them.

 

 

1
Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House