Kitchener swan squabble almost turns fatal

A rivalry between two swans competing for the attention of passers-by appears to have led to the near-drowning of one of the swans.
A Kitchener swan that almost drowned after being attacked by a rival now patrols the waters at Victoria Park Lake. (Melanie Ferrier/CBC News)

A nearly fatal fight between two male swans in Kitchener's Victoria Park Lake has led to the pair being split up.

The trouble began when a swan living in the park died last year after falling ill to a parasitic infection, and the City of Kitchener was looking for a replacement, said Kitchener Coun. Frank Etherington.

The sole surviving swan spent the winter in Stratford. He seemed to have befriended another swan there, but when the two moved back to Kitchener, the relationship turned sour.

"They did not get along. They were competing, I think, like jealous Stratford actors," said Etherington.

"They were competing for public attention and food. It got to the point where it was so bad that the newcomer swan tried to drown the remaining swan that has been with us for several years.

"That's not good for kids or adults for that matter to see."

Etherington suggested to city staff that the new swan could perhaps use some anger management classes.

"They didn't seem to think that was too funny," he said.

The younger swan has now been dispatched back to Stratford.

Etherington doesn't think the city will try to find a replacement swan this summer, but there's a chance the remaining swan could have a new friend by December.