06 March 2011

Death on the lakes, part two

Brace yourself for bad news: the results from the swan autopsies have finally arrived, and it turns out to be the worst possible scenario. The swans have died from a bacteria causing blood poisoning, organ failure and paralysis, leading to a slow and painful death. The deaths come in waves hitting around the weekend, suggesting somebody is regularly feeding them poison. The Danish news have finally picked up on this tragedy (sadly nothing pushes for results like when the media turns on the spotlight) and according to Danish newspaper Politiken the casualties are now up to 50, with the last big strike today and only a handful of the beautiful animals left on the lakes. What can we do? Not a thing. If this is the work of a sick and cowardly individual, he is free to roam because how can we tell? It can be anyone.

After the first wave of dead swans, people stepped up the feeding and the birds seemed to gain weight. Of course feeding the swans you are up against people who don't know any better, who assume you don't either, so there is a lot of disapproving looks being exchanged. Danes being Danes we don't talk about it openly, but if we were I would tell the disapproving stare-masters that feeding the birds during the winter does not compare to feeding them in the summertime. I don't feed the birds in the summer, but I am not about to walk past an animal dying from starvation at the coldest time of year. And before encouraging anyone else to do so, I would at least attempt to educate myself on the subject.

But as it turns out all efforts have been in vain. All we can do is stand by and watch the last birds fight it out. And I wish I could just brush it off and move on to happier things, but my heart is broken. Dammit.

Death on the lakes, part one here.

The swan deaths in the Danish News here and here.


  1. Det er så sørgeligt. Jeg har slet ikke lyst til at gå ned til Søerne for tiden.
    Hvis det nu er menneskeskabt forgiftning, ville ænderne og de andre søfugle så ikke også dø?

  2. Since your first post, I have been reading up on it in Politiken. How absolutely terrible! It is amazing how cruel people can be!

  3. How very sad news :(
    I really didn't think people could be that sick, but I guess I am wrong... If only one could catch him doing it.

    I read the Danish news too, and the Police take it very seriously and has tried to reach out to people who may have seen something.

    The problem is the poisoner probably doesn't look any different from the average walker by the lakes.
    But let's hope he/she gets caught...or turns himself in!

  4. Hej Fie, der ligger også døde ænder og duer, men ikke i samme omfang. Når der bliver fodret er svanerne først til bords fordi de er størst. Fuglene på billedet (ravne? krager?) æder ligene, dvs. jeg håber at de er døde inden de begynder, og flyver så videre og tømmer sig andre steder, og dør også (?) andre steder, og så er smitten spredt.

    Jeg håber at de går seriøst til værks nu og tager prøver af vandet og kigger maveindhold igennem m.m. Når de først har destrueret alle de døde svaner er der jo ikke flere steder at hente svar. Puha. Jeg kan heller ikke holde ud at kigge på søerne mere, det er slemt.

  5. Hi Celena, it is so cruel, there are no words. I wish they would collect the last few swans and nurture them back to health somewhere, and maybe set them out in safer waters. No matter what I feel like not enough has been done to ensure the well being of the swans in general.

    The only reason anything is being done at all is because a few people, like the man from the Danish Ornithologists is pushing for action, and now the press. I called the guy responsible for the lakes in Cph., and although he was helpful directing me elsewhere, he also pointed out how the well being of the swans was not his responsibility, and that all that could be expected of him was that the dead swans was removed whenever possible. At the most.

  6. Drumstick, this is why this is the act of the ultimate coward, because the animals trust him, and he can carry on his slaughter in the open without ever being caught. If it is the work of one person. Can it really be? But then, how can it not? I can't imagine the lakes without swans..

  7. news like this makes me so upset!! i'm glad you have covered it :-)

  8. Hi C., I'm happy that you appreciate it. It pains me to bring people down on my blog, but I see no way to make a happy spin on this tragedy. Next post must be uplifting in some small way, I am working on it. :-)

  9. Oh this is so sick! What's wrong with them?

  10. Nothing a good taste of their own medicine wouldn't take care of!


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