SOUTH MIDDLETON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — There's a lot of fuss about a swan at Children's Lake. The swan in question is apparently aggressive towards some of the other geese and ducks that live there. Now there are mixed opinions on what needs to be done.
This all started when a man contacted FOX43 and said a trumpeter swan was being aggressive at Children's Lake. Turns out it might not be a trumpeter swan, instead a mute swan. Which, actually changes things, but what it doesn't change is the debate on whether it should stay or go.
You'll find plenty of ducks and geese at Children's Lake, but if you ask Jorie Hanson, co-chair of Save the Lake, an organization that is raising money to redesign and replace the Lake’s dam, there's one that's run a foul.
"I was in a kayak this weekend and it went after me in the kayak,” Hanson said.
She was talking about a swan. Visitors said it's been around for years. There used to be two, but all that's left are two sides.
"The swan is perfectly fine,” Mike Line of South Middleton Township, said. “Why don't they let it alone? It's been here a long time. It really has. And that one swan isn't hurting anything. It's the domestic ducks that people put illegally on the lake that cause all of the problem with the residents of the town."
“When you come down with your kids and loves ones to have a nice family moment and feed the ducks and the next thing you know you this beautiful swan comes up and starts attacking a domestic goose and it's babies it's just really ugly,” Hanson said.
According to the Game Commission, a mute swan is not considered wildlife and is not protected under state or federal law. A trumpeter is a protected species.
"That's never caused any trouble ’til there was talk of it killing those domestic geese,” Robert Line of South Middleton Township, said. “And like I say it deserves a medal for killing them."
Jorie said she and some other folks are working on a plan to safely move the swan to a pond near Dillsburg, where feral swans are managed. She said a local veterinarian has agreed to clip or pin it's wings if captured. There's still one big question.
"How do you catch a super aggressive feral swan that can fly,” Jorie asked.
The PA Game Commission said in general, it's illegal to release any domestic or captive-raised wild animal onto state game lands, and while there are some exceptions, there is no broad law prohibiting the release of domestic animals on other lands.