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3 teens arrested after New York town's beloved swan was eaten, officials say; 4 baby swans rescued

By Francisco Guzman, USA TODAY,


Three teenagers were arrested Tuesday after four baby swans were stolen from a New York pond and the mother was found eaten, town officials said.

In a statement on Facebook, the Town of Manlius Police Department said five swans were stolen from the Manlius Swan Pond over the weekend. Four of the birds were recovered, while Faye, a beloved female swan, was killed.

“The mother swan was consumed,” Manlius Mayor Paul Whorrall said, according to the Associated Press. “Sad to say, but that’s what they did.”

Police said the swans went missing Saturday, but officials weren’t notified until Monday, the AP reported.
In this June 2014 photo, Faye, a swan, tends to two baby cygnets at the Manlius Swan Pond in Manlius, N.Y. Elizabeth Doran, AP

After a notice went out about the missing swans, a concerned citizen spotted two of the baby swans in a store in Salina and called the police, Manlius police Sgt. Ken Hatter said.

Manlius police rescued the two baby swans from the store, and found the other two cygnets at a suspect’s home in Syracuse, which is roughly 10 miles northwest of the town, after one of the suspects who worked at the store confessed to the crime.

The three teens were charged with grand larceny, criminal mischief, conspiracy and criminal trespass, the police department said in a news release sent to USA TODAY.

Two of the suspects, aged 16 and 17, were released to their parents because they are juveniles, police said. The third suspect, who is 18, is awaiting arraignment.

Swan was given to a relative to cook, police say

The baby swans, who are currently in the care of a biologist, will be returned to the pond in a few weeks when they are old enough to survive on their own, Hatter said.

As for Faye, Hatter said the teens gave her to a relative to cook.

“They brought it back to an aunt’s house and the aunt prepared it,” he said.

Swan hunting is illegal in the state.

‘We’re known for our swans,’ Mayor Whorrall said

Biologist Michael Bean donated Faye and her mate, Manny , to the village of Manlius for its swan pond in 2010. The two mute swans are not native to the U.S., but are the largest birds in New York.
Manny, one of the beloved swans from the Manlius swan pond, swims in the pond alone without his mate, Faye, Tuesday, May 30, 2023 in Manlius, N.Y. Katrina Tulloch, AP

The village of Manlius is known for its swans, Whorrall said. “The swans have been a part of this village for well over 100 years,” he said.

Manlius police, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police and the Syracuse Police Department are investigating the incident.

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Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 3 teens arrested after New York town's beloved swan was eaten, officials say; 4 baby swans rescued

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