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The Department of Environmental Conservation in New York has proposed the killing of all wild mute swans that live in the city.
The Department of Environmental Conservation’s proposal calls for the elimination of all free-ranging mute swans by 2025. The feathered fowls are the winged bullies of the bird world, attacking humans and other animals in the park, NY Daily News reports.
"It's a ludicrous plan," said David Karopkin, founder and director of GooseWatch NYC, a wildlife advocacy group that said the state's concerns are overblown.
Most of the state's 2,200 mute swans - both wild and in captivity - are found in highly populated areas, in and around New York City and its northern suburbs in the Hudson Valley, Reuters reports.
"When people live close to each other, conflicts are inevitable, but we don't kill each other off. But when people live next to animals and conflicts are inevitable, we respond with lethal methods," Karopkin said.
Over the past century, mute swans have become a symbol of love. The birds mate for life, and when two mute swans sit beak to beak, the curve of their long necks make a heart-shape.