When a swan began attacking geese at Children’s Lake earlier this year, Boiling Springs residents and visitors were split about what to do with it.
Some believed the swan should be humanely moved to another location, while others didn’t want to intercede. After a Fox 43 story about the swan, the majority fell on the side of leaving it there, and any plans to humanely move it fell through.
Today, the swan is no longer at the lake, likely due to a third option.
Fox 43 reported receiving information from the Facebook group Pennsylvania Mute Swans Unlimited that the swan had been killed with a bow and arrow on Friday.
The Facebook group is a collection of hunters and others who “report mute swan sightings in Pennsylvania” and share photographs of successful hunts.
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According to the Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage, mute swans are known for highly territorial behavior during breeding season and competing with native wildlife, which can involve killing adult and juvenile water fowl and in one case in Maryland, trampling nests, eggs and chicks.
That behavior was reported by some residents who felt the swan was deliberately attacking goslings at Children’s Lake.
Hunting mute swans is legal in Pennsylvania because the species isn’t considered protected in the state or under federal law, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The commission said mute swans are considered an invasive species and are allowed to be hunted outside of regular hunting seasons for water fowl. Because of their designation, mute swans don’t count in a hunter’s bag limit.
The only requirement for hunting mute swans is to get the landowner’s permission if the hunt takes place on private property, according to the Game Commission.