Sackville residents aflutter after sudden outbreak of swan attacks

Sackville – A state of terror has taken hold of the small rural town of Sackville. The cause is a rash of swan attacks that has occurred in the last 2 weeks. Sackville’s swan pond is quite beautiful, from a distance. On Saturday, when the most recent victim approached the pond for a picture with his daughter, he was shocked to be ambushed by a group of violent swans.

“They just came flying and hit me from all sides,” Tom Mayweather said from his hospital bed. “I never knew swans were so hostile.”

SwanIIIMayor Maxwell Johnson has responded by handing out nets and beekeeper suits to all incoming tourists and pond visitors. Johnson stated “because of these attacks, we’ve seen an uptick of tourists. People have agreed to start paying to watch unsuspecting visitors approach the pond. We’ve been proactive and have added bleachers and concession stands for the people watching the tourists getting attacked by swans — quite a business.”

Jason Fletcher, a psychology major at Mount Allison University, has organised a study in which he and a number of other students will attempt to discover the cause of the swan aggression. “Our hypothesis is that the fluctuating weather has thrown the swans’ emotions completely out of whack. We will attempt to prove this by bringing in heat fans and buckets of ice to throw on the swans and gauge their reaction.”

There have been more than 6 attacks in the past week, causing Sackville residents to believe they may never be safe around their beloved swans again. In last night’s town meeting regarding the epidemic, residents decided to offer anyone who can calm the swans a gift certificate to Ducky’s Pub and 30 dollars in Mountie Money if they succeed.

  1. Call in the american military and nuke them ! To hell with killer swans ..maybe give them as a gift to the ISIS!

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  2. LOL I remember getting nipped by them on the ankles as a young child growing up in Sackville. You just learned to give them their space! “A State of Terror”?? Seriously?!

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  3. Mute swans can be very aggressive in defence of their nests. Most defensive attacks from a mute swan begin with a loud hiss and, if this is not sufficient to drive off the predator, are followed by a physical attack. Swans attack by smashing at their enemy with bony spurs in the wings, accompanied by biting with their large bill. The wings of the swan are very powerful, anecdotally reported to exert enough force to break an adult man’s leg.[25] Large waterfowl, such as Canada geese, (more likely out of competition than in response to potential predation) may also be aggressively driven off, and mute swans regularly attack people who enter their territory.[26] The cob is also responsible for defending the cygnets while on the water, and will sometimes attack small watercraft, such as canoes, that it feels are a threat to its young. The cob will additionally try and chase the predator out of his family territory, and will keep animals such as foxes and raptors at bay. In New York (outside its native range), the most common predators of cygnets are common snapping turtles.[26] Healthy adults are rarely predated, though canids such as coyotes, felids such as lynxes, and bears can pose a threat to infirm ones (healthy adults can usually swim away from danger unless defending nests) and there are a few cases of healthy adults falling prey to Golden Eagles.[27][28]

    The familiar pose with neck curved back and wings half raised, known as busking, is a threat display. Both feet are paddled in unison during this display, resulting in more jerky movement.[29]

    Mute swans can spend months without flying. They only get on their wings for few reasons. In the autumn they need to learn their offspring to fly, but otherwise some may spend many months or longer without flying. When such birds eventually use their wings, they not seldom happen to land on spots that are to small to take off from. Hence people sometimes needs to help the bird out of for instance a small garden or similar. When handeling a mute swan, there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of. The mute swan may act tough (especially adult males), but when it comes to the crunch they are totally harmless. They don’t bite, and even if it would, its bite is very weak. However people need in such situations to act decisively and without hesitation. The concern must be to not harm the bird. Otherwise call for help. If a temporarily catched swan must be transported during a while, put towel on its head. This calms the bird.

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