Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Swan story that will not go away.

Today we have the strange tale of Asbo.

A swan nicknamed "Mr Asbo" has been removed from the River Cam following a spate of attacks on rowers, canoeists and other river users.  The swan with attitude had a thing about people invading his patch of water. The River Cam Conservators  applied for an emergency license to allow them to legally remove him, and his passive mate Mrs Asbo. They have been moved to a secret location over 60 miles away. It seems that Asbo would chase members of the public and rowers on the river. The Cam Conservators said the swan had become "abnormally aggressive over the last few yearsThere has been a concern he or his mate would be injured or a rower would be seriously injured. 

Moving Asbo has been criticised by residents. Robin Middleton said "What right do they have to take him? He is a very intelligent swan and this is despicable." A spokesman for Natural England confirmed "the swan had been moved because of health and safety concerns."  

Natural England and Cam Conservators AKA "Elf n Safety" Taliban.

There are several species of swan in the UK. Whoopers who fly to and from Iceland making the 600 mile flight in a single journey. Bewick's Swans who fly to and from Siberia with a few stop overs. Mute who are quite happy to make long flights. The one thing I know is that swans do move around quite a bit and as they also have a good life span. They get to know large areas of the UK quite well. I expect Asbo would be making the return trip quite soon.

After a large number of concerns for Asbo's welfare were raised. There are rumours circulating that the bird has been destroyed. Then came the shocking news that the Conservators of the River Cam have admitted to clipping his main flight feathers to keep him grounded to stop him flying back to the river. This action has angered many residents in Cambridge.  So here we have Swan story that will not go away. I expect it is Swan story that will run and run, until Asbo is back home.

Joan Court, from Animal Rights Cambridge, said: “I think it’s outrageous he has been mutilated. I’m livid. We are very annoyed the people who moved him completely disregarded the RSPCA advice and we’re outraged by this mutilation. I think there’s going to be trouble now.

Boat owner Robin Middleton, known as Battleship Bob, said it was “bang out of order” to remove the flight feathers. When you clip flight feathers it’s like he has been castrated. Any swans that start on him now, he won’t have a chance against them. It’s like Samson losing his hair. I think what they’ve done is put him in danger because he’s vulnerable and helpless."


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