Londonist has long feared swans, as we've always been told that swans can break a man's arm, and a bird that is in the habit of breaking arms is a bird to be wary of. (And yes, apparently that is true. According to The Swan Sanctuary, Shepperton, it is theoretically possible. Therefore, we remain theoretically afraid of swans.)
However, just because a bird could possibly break your limbs, that's no reason to develop hostilities towards them. The ponds, lakes and rivers across south-east London which have long been home to these birds have lately found themselves swanless, as well as missing other water fowl and fish. And police believe that these swans are being stolen to eat.
Eyewitnesses at Southmere Lake, Thamesmead, spotted swans being captured in a net and called police. People have been spotted at the lake at 5am with food, luring the birds into nets and then stuffing them into bin bags. PC John Horton, the Bexley wildlife police officer in charge of the investigation, calls these reports "disturbing." Indeed.
We thoroughly disapprove of the stealing of wildlife from parks, and encourage you to call the Met Police wildlife unit on 020 7230 8898 if you know who these disturbing swan thieves might be.
Image courtesy of ImageLink's Flickr photostream