NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Boaters and swimmers beware: Aggressive swans have been reported on Lake Zoar near Alpine Drive in Newtown, according to the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection.
The swans, which can attack boaters and swimmers, usually do so to protect a nearby nest. DEEP officials said there may be a nest located near the wooden roofed “umbrella” pavilion – a recreation/picnic area which is used by lots of visitors.
Officials said some swans have become so aggressive that they have caused small boats to capsize.
Mute swans can cause a variety of problems, including aggressive behavior towards people, destruction of submerged aquatic vegetation, displacement of native wildlife species, and degradation of water quality.
Recent breeding population estimates indicate that there are between 1,000 and 1,400 mute swans breeding in the state at both inland and coastal locations.
Swans elicit diverse reactions from the public. Their tameness, acceptance of food handouts, and appearance make them appealing to parts of the public that enjoy viewing animals in park-like surroundings.
In contrast, biologists, conservation organizations, sportsmen, and most birdwatchers have expressed concern about the negative impacts of these large, aggressive birds on native waterfowl, other birds, and aquatic habitats.
Contact DEEP Dispatch at 860-424-3333, 24 hours a day, to report any cases in which swans or other wildlife species are causing a threat to public safety.