Did Pollution Turn British Swan Into a Serial Killer?

Sep 17, 2010· 0 MIN READ
Salvatore Cardoni holds a political science degree from the George Washington University. He's written about all things environment since 2007.
There's safety in numbers, but these fellas are still on the lookout for Hannibal, the killer swan. (Photo: Nikola Solic / Reuters)

There’s a killer running roughshod in Pembrokshire, a county in southwest Wales.

Since January, Hannibal—so nicknamed by local officials—has brutally murdered 15 and injured 22 more.

If you’re waiting for the catch, here it is: Hannibal is a swan.

Maria Evans, the wildlife expert who oversees Castle Pond, told the Western Telegraph that the pond’s pollution could be playing a role in the bird’s anger.

"The water in the pond is very brackish, salty and not particularly clean, and pollution and lack of nutrients can both be responsible for nasty behavior in swans,” Evans told the Western Telegraph.

Evans was quick to point out that other factors, including a lack of food, could be responsible for Hannibal's rampage, reports Treehugger.

Although some swans are known to be quite territorial, Hannibal seems to have taken it to the extreme, which has lead to a high number of deaths and injuries among other swans—an 'upsetting' sight for folks who've come to visit the pond. "Afterwards, he swims around the pond with his wings up, looking so proud of what he has done," says Evans. "And if his victims are injured on the bank, he just won't let them back in the water."

The situation has detiorated so rapidly that officials plan on moving the bird to another pond, reports BBC.

Feature photo: aussiegal/Creative Commons via Flickr