Published on April 17th, 2012 | by tomkolovos0
Killer Swan Claims “Stand Your Ground” Defense in Drowning of Illinois Man
A man has drowned after being attacked by a swan, which knocked him out of his kayak and stopped him swimming to shore. So how dangerous are these graceful white birds?
Anthony Hensley, 37, worked for a company that provided swans to keep geese away from property.
On Saturday morning, the married father of two set out in a kayak across a pond at a residential complex in Des Plaines, just outside Chicago, where he was tending the birds.
One of the swans charged his boat, capsizing it, says Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, whose deputies investigated the death.
Mr Hensley tried to swim to shore but eyewitnesses told the sheriff’s investigators the swan appeared to have actively blocked him.
“I find myself still scratching my head,” says Sheriff Dart. “This truly is one of the ones that keeps you from saying ‘I’ve seen everything now.’”
According to ornithologists, the swan’s aggressive reaction is typical for the species, the mute swan, when defending a nest.
“It’s presumably a male swan and it’s presumably paired, and it’s set up home for the spring,” says Chris Perrins, Her Majesty’s Swan Warden and a retired Oxford ornithologist.
“It’s going to defend that territory.”
The males are fierce in defense of their nests, especially during the spring nesting season – April to June.
Continue Reading from BBC.co.uk:
And from the LA Times: