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Aggressive Norwegian swan gets stay of execution after authority u-turn

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Aggressive Norwegian swan gets stay of execution after authority u-turn
A similar looking swan. Stock photo: S_Razvodovskij/Depositphotos
17:15 CEST+02:00
A belligerent swan in Hordaland known as the “Harbourmaster” (Havnesjefen) which was due to be put down will now be relocated, authorities have said.

The decision was taken after a meeting between the municipality in the town of Osøyro, local organisation Svanehelpen i Os (Help the Swans Os) and the Norwegian Ornithology Society on Monday, reports broadcaster NRK.

“We will now work behind the scenes to see this through. So we hope people stay calm and no-one takes anything into their own hands,” Agnar Nordheim of Svanehelpen i Os said to the broadcaster following the meeting.

Nordheim said that people in the area had both threatened to kill the swan as well as kidnap it to prevent it from being put down.

The decision to put down the swan was taken by Os Municipality earlier this month after the swan attacked a group of daycare children and dragged a girl into the water, the latest in a series of aggressive episodes involving the animal.

Os Municipality spokesperson Marie Bruarøy said that the order to kill the animal, valid for two weeks, had now expired and that alternative arrangements would be looked into.

“We agreed that we will look at how to relocate the swan,” she said.

The Norwegian Ornithology Society has made a number of proposals as to how the swan could be relocated to a wild part of Norway.

“We will see whether it is possible to move him to another part of the country. It hasn't been done much in Norway before, but they've had good experiences with it in England,” she told NRK.

Conditions for moving the swan – and its family – require being able to make the move without causing the animals distress and finding a habitat they will be able to adapt to.

Bruarøy told NRK that she hoped a line would soon be drawn under the issue, which has given rise to considerable anger and disagreement in the area and nationally.

“It will be good to see it removed from Osøyro. It's a burden due to the fear of further attacks. I think many people want to subscribe human qualities to the swan, and I think that's a shame. He is one of the most beautiful creatures on earth, but he is a wild animal – not a pet,” she said.

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