Alfie the Swan
[photo by Geraint Rowland/creative commons license]

Did you know that swans are considered an invasive species in the State of New Jersey? 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, swans destroy indigenous plants, spread disease, collide with aircraft and compete with native waterfowl.

But wait, there’s more; they are considered a nuisance in public parks and other areas because of their highly abundant fecal droppings and aggressiveness towards people.  

The penalty for an aggressive swan? Death.

Alfie, a mute swan who’s a local fixture in Seawood Harbor, a lagoon community that sits where the Kettle Creek spills into Barnegat Bay in New Jersey, was set to be euthanized by federal authorities after a complaint that a person riding a jet ski hit a docked boat in the neighborhood after the swan aggressively chased him. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Tanya Espinosa told the New York Times that they found the swan had attacked jet skiers multiple times after a thorough investigation. 

Time was running out for Alfie, but in a stroke of good luck, after Tropical Storm Elsa swept through the region on Friday, the bird was found entangled in fish wire and was rescued by the Popcorn Animal refuge.

Local residents who had been campaigning to save the swan were grateful for the last-minute reprieve. 

So what happens next? According to John Bergmann, the park’s director, Alife can’t be released back into the wild, so the park might search for another rescue to take him. 

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