UPDATED: An aggressive swan that attacked a little girl at a harbour in Western Norway earlier this summer has been put to death. Newspaper VG reported Thursday morning that local authorities acted after the swan went on the attack once again, but now the local politicians in charge are facing death threats as well.
The male swan had been dubbed Havnesjefen (literally, “harbour chief”) in the western community of Os, near Bergen. The swan apparently believed the harbour area was its territory, and he defended it ferociously, grabbing a child he viewed as a threat and holding her underwater in June. The child was saved by adults who jumped into the water and removed her from the swan’s grip.
After another attack this week, local authorities who’d initially granted the swan a stay of execution in response to public protest, took the matter into their own hands. Plans to move the swan to another community (Modum had indicated willingness to take in the swan and his family) were dropped and acting Os Mayor Laila Reiertsen of the Progress Party confirmed the swan had been destroyed.
“I can’t go into details on how the swan was killed, other than to say that it has been,” Reiertsen confirmed to state broadcaster NRK.
Reaction from some wanting to save the swan was swift, with Mayor Marie Bruarøy of the Conservative Party once again receiving anonymous death threats herself. She was considering calling the police on Thursday, telling NRK that “when the word ‘murder’ and my husband are mentioned in the same sentence, I have to considering calling in the police.”