After 52 mute swans were murdered at Lincoln Lake on Dec. 13, I wondered what is wrong with the people in this world?
I wonder why someone would start a petition or sign a petition to kill a beautiful animal because they get in the way of their pontoon boat or Jet Ski, or because they swim near their dock. They should feel blessed to be graced with the presence of such a beautiful animal. They choose to live on a lake where these animals were in residence. Some protest that the swans polluted the lake, but how can 52 birds be accused of causing the pollution of a lake when said lake has nearby farms with cattle that produce on average of 120 pounds of waste a day per cow?
Did you ever think about what was in the fertilizer that you place on your lawns and what it does to the weeds in the lake? It makes them grow too. Do you think about the pollution and destruction that your boats and Jet Skis do with their gas and oils leaking in to the ecosystem? Humans have done more damage to the ecosystem of lakes than the mute swan.
As for their aggressiveness, what would you do to protect your child? I don’t blame the swan for attacking Jet Skiers when they maliciously drive at the swan with the intent of killing them and their young. Those people get what they deserve.
I am a scuba diver and have been the victim of the Jet Skiers and boaters behaviors. They have charged my dive flag and tried to jump it and in one instance they grabbed it and tried to take off with it, causing me to start to surface too quickly.
For years I have sailed, kayaked and swam around the swan and yes, even motor boated at a respectable distance from the swan. I have never been attacked. I respect the swan by not causing it harm and so it has not caused any to me.
Some say that it is not a native species to the United State because it was brought here in the late 1800s and therefore it should not be here. Should that same rule apply to people who have not been a U.S. citizen for over 200 years? We are all immigrants.
Removing the mute swans from Lincoln Lake is not going to make the trumpeter swan return. The trumpeter swan will not live in areas where there is high boat traffic and noise. We have all heard the noise that is on Lincoln Lake on a summer Saturday afternoon. If the species needs to be controlled, then control it in a humane way, such as sterilization, egg removal or piercing, or segregation of the young with same gender pairings. As a last resort thinning the number on a lake, but not wiping out their existence. So many animals have been wiped off the face of this planet because of human stupidity. It will be a sad day when the mute swan joins this list, simply because they inconvenienced certain people.
Originally when proposed, this action was not approved. It was then taken upon by individuals to start a petition. Not everyone around the lake were asked about this matter. It was done secretly so not to create opposition. This spring they plan to kill the swans that migrate back to Lincoln Lake. I urge everyone who enjoys Lincoln Lake and other lakes to make your voices heard. We can find a better way.
Dionne Luxford is a Rockford resident. Her mother lives across the street from Lincoln Lake.
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