July 23, 2009

Small town kicks out swans

Officials in a small Georgia town say they had to get rid of the swans that became local mascots because the birds became too violent.

Residents of Mountain Park said Romeo, a male swan, arrived in town several years ago with his mate, Juliet, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Thursday. Romeo was paired with another swan named Juliet after a coyote killed the original, and he got a third mate named Viola last fall after the death of the second Juliet.

Mayor Jim Still said the birds have become too violent to remain in town, particularly during their nesting time.

It made it a little hard to go on the swing set when you had a large white swan chasing you, Still said.

Romeo and Viola's babies were taken away and sold by the village after the parents attacked one of their young.

Children were hysterical because the mother and father were attacking a baby swan, said Karen Segars, the town clerk and Mountain Park's only full-time employee. The decision was made on the spot that the babies must be saved.

Segars said Romeo and Viola have been moved to a private pond near Cumming, Ga., and the Mountain Park city council has voted to keep them out for good.