A group of teens in Manchester, England showed how careless disregard for property and wildlife can have devastating results. The group were spotted purposefully smashing a swan’s nest with bricks, destroying the eggs within. As a result, many are attributing this destruction with the recent death of the mother swan saying she died of a broken heart.
Mother Swan’s Life Destroyed
The incident occurred along Manchester Canal in Kearley. The teenage boys were roaming the area where they were tossing bricks and rocks into the canal. It was reported they weren’t just throwing the bricks randomly, but instead focused on hitting the swan’s nest.
The nest contained six eggs, half of which were smashed by the teens. When the male swan returned to the nest to find it destroyed he left the nest. It’s possible the stress of his grizzly discovery was the reason he deserted his partner. Unfortunately, the mother was left to deal with her loss alone.
Mother Swan Dies Of Broken Heart
The female not only lost her babies, but her lifetime partner. It’s not surprising people are speculating her death a few weeks later was a result of the incident. Swans are monogamous and mate for life. In fact, the loss of a mate causes a grieving period just like humans. Following the grieving period, swans might seek a new mate, but many choose to live alone. In this case, it seems the female swan died of a broken heart.
“There’s not much I can say really,” says Wildlife activist, Sam Woodrow. “She probably died of a broken heart as she had a partner for life, and he was driven away by stress.”
Mother Swan’s Story
The tragedy attracted attention from locals, including Michael Mason who had been watching the swans. “I really don’t want to do this post today because it comes with great sadness,” he writes on his Facebook page. “I have tried to keep you updated on this swan who laid six eggs, three were destroyed by youths, she has then been harassed by dogs jumping in and harassed by a duck and moor hen and two more eggs were lost leaving her with one egg. Her mate left her on her own and sadly I was informed this morning she was found slumped in her nest dead. I just feel like crying.”
Mother Swan Death Under Investigation
The incident is being investigated by the RSPCA as the swans are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. “This is a really sad development and it is very upsetting to hear about the death of this poor swan,” stated an RSPCA spokesperson. They referred to the incident as “distressing.”
Swans can live as long as 30-years, but with the challenges they face in the environment today the average age is just 12-years. From pollution to predators and human interaction and structures, the lovely creatures can have a hard time of it. In this case, humans proved to be the end to the entire family.