Swan's death sparks DEEP policy changes - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Swan's death sparks DEEP policy changes

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DEEP made policy changes after the incidents with swans in Danielson. (WFSB) DEEP made policy changes after the incidents with swans in Danielson. (WFSB)

The Department of Environmental Protection is enforcing new protocols after reports a male swan acted aggressively and had to be put down. 

In April, DEEP members had to euthanize a swan and kill the family's eggs in Danielson. The euthanization came after DEEP officials said they received two complaints of instances of the swan being overly aggressive.

DEEP officials said the first incident involved an attack on two kayakers in the water.

Later that day, DEEP said the same swan also attacked young boys who were in a canoe in the water. The incident actually caused them to capsize and fall into the water.

When the euthanization occurred, it upset many who live in the neighborhood in the area of the footbridge on Five Mile River. Residents even started a petition

Danielson residents said they think protocols about protecting this type of wildlife should have been done long ago.  

"It definitely hasn't been the same," Bonnie Mayo, of Danielson, said. 

Mayo, who has lived on River Street for the past 15 years, said her home sits along Five Mile Pond where a family of swans would visit her every day. 

"It's a great loss to me as a person that has been down here as long as I have," Mayo said.   

The new protocols by DEEP include taking to social media to educate boaters on the swans especially when they're more likely to protect their nests in the spring 

"I think before the swans were killed, they should have put up those signs to warn people," Mayo said. "I understand there was a boat that was capsized but in the 15 years I've been here, I've seen the swan hit with paddles."

DEEP released a statement on the new protocols.  

"Work hard to strike the right balance between protection of wildlife and public safety. In the situation in Danielson, we acted to protect public safety," DEEP said in its statement. 

DEEP also said the "adopted protocol similar to what we have for other species to guide us in responding to reports of aggressive swans." 

Posting signs were discussed by DEEP at length, however, they said "intentionally excluded signs." They cited the reason the for the exclusion of signs is "that nests commonly occur on lands not under the control of DEEP" and that means DEEP "has no authority to erect such signs."

 However, if the landowner would like DEEP to erect signs on their property, they would be inclined to do that. 

Mute swans are known to defend their nest and mate for life. In April, Eyewitness News cameras caught the mama swan sitting on her nest were her babies once were. 

"That it's too late," Mayo said. "You know? But I am also grateful that all this looking into all of this has brought protocol up to standards."   

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