Brooklyn wildlife lovers are seeing red after learning of a proposal by the NYC Department of Environmental Conservation to eliminate the population of mute swans in Prospect Park by 2025. According to the agency, the elegant birds have been known to bully other resident park animals and, at times, even humans. Area animal activists, however, say that the allegations are exaggerated and killing the 2,200 swans that roam the park would be cruel and unnecessary.

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Mute swans have been a part of the Prospect Park landscape and ecosystem since importers brought them to the area from Europe in the late 1800s. Since their introduction, the population of free-range birds has steadily grown to around 2,200.

The birds delight park visitors with their beauty, but department officials complain of another side of the fowl. The swans have been known to attack other birds, and sometimes humans, and destroy the vegetation in the park’s ponds. The officials also claim that the swans’ presence degrades the park water quality and even poses a threat to aviation in the area.

But locals and wildlife activists aren’t buying the explanation, saying that the park officials’ claims are an exaggeration. Should the proposal be passed, the plan says loosely that it would allow for “limited, private ownership of swans,” as they are phased out as a “prohibited species.”

If you are against the killing of mute swans in New York, please voice your support by signing the petition to stop the proposed plan.

Via NY Daily News

Images ©Dave Stokes and ©L.C.Nøttaasen