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Pond in Manlius: Swan Faye and her four chicks (mid-May 2023)

Photo: Elena Nezhdanova / AP

A small community in the US state of New York mourns the loss of its swan Faye. According to official information, the animal was killed and eaten by teenagers – because they thought it was a duck. According to the police chief of the 4600 inhabitants of Manlius, the three alleged perpetrators were arrested at the age of 16, 17 and 18 years.

They allegedly stole Faye and her four chicks from the community pond over the weekend to keep them as pets. While the chicks were found safe and sound after a short time, any rescue came too late for their mother: "The family and friends have eaten them," said police chief Kenneth Hatter. "They thought it was an unusually large duck."

"It feels like we've lost a family member"

The teenagers were not aware that Faye was not a wild bird, but belonged to the community, Hatter said. Nevertheless, they would now have to answer for criminal mischief, theft and trespassing.

Since they first settled in the pool of Manlius at the beginning of the 20th century, swans have become the symbol of the small suburb of Syracuse. "It's sad," Mayor Paul Whorrall said of Faye's death, according to local media. "It feels like we've lost a family member."