Rogue British swan terrorizes model boating community
A swan is on the rampage in the town of Needham Market, U.K., smashing eight model boats, which are worth up to $25,000 Cdn, each.
Cliff Galsworthy, who is the treasurer of the Gipping Valley Model Boat Club tells As It Happens guest host Helen Mann that his group has shared the lake with swans for years, but this particular swan is a different story.
"It's got four cygnet at the moment and he's got his mate, he used to be on the river and he was a bit of a rogue on the river chasing boats."
Galsworthy says his first run in with the swan saw his prized model boat almost wind up at the bottom of the lake.
"Just as the boat was going I saw this swan charging across the water and jumped straight on top of the boat." Galsworthy shouted at the swan but that didn't stop the rampage,
"It just jumped up and down on the boat and rolled it over. Then it sort of stood up and looked at it."
The boat is an exact scale model of a 1953 harbour master's yacht that was used in London. Galsworthy spent five months building it by hand.
He says his first thought was revenge, "I thought 'who's got a shotgun so I can go and kill it?' — I was that upset."
Killing the bird would be ill-advised. All unclaimed swans belong to the Seigneur of the Swans, also known as Queen Elizabeth II. It would be a criminal offense to harm the bird, so members of the club have written to the Queen to try and have the it removed.
The swan's reign of terror has continued since that run in, with a total of eight boats being damaged by the swan. All the boats have been recovered.
For now, members of the Gipping Valley Model Boat Club keep a look out for the swan and quickly pull their boats out of the water when he's spotted.