ASBOlutely: the Return of the Killer Swan
After terrorising boaties last year, rowers have made a desperate appeal to the Queen for the permanent removal of the “ASBO Swan” from the river Cam.
Rowers made a desperate appeal to the Queen on Monday for the permanent removal of the “ASBO Swan” from the river Cam.
The vicious swan has returned with a vengeance to the Cam following his reign of terror last year.
Swanning around: in grainy footage obtained exclusively by The Tab, Mr ASBO attacks a Lady Margaret Boat.
“Mr ASBO” has now moved a mile and a half upriver from his previous post at Fen Ditton, towards the Green Dragon Pub, stepping up his assaults and raising fears tourists and punt users could soon become targets.
Last summer he targeted dozens of boaties on the outskirts of Cambridge, and even capsized a canoeist. However, after a winter in training, he’s started taking on bigger targets, including a number of motorised pleasure boats.
Next, he turns his attention to a Corpus boat.
He was also seen biting the end of an eight crew’s craft last week. President of the Cambridgeshire Rowing Association, Bill Key, called for Her Majesty to authorise the removal of the “offending bird” before it causes serious injury.
He said: “The swan situation is most serious and someone is going to be badly injured or worse – indeed a number of injuries have already occurred.
“We have nearly 1000 local rowers and 2000 students who will be returning to the water this week.
“I hope that the appeal with be approved by the authorities who make these decisions.”
The river custodians, the Conservators of the Cam, said heated discussions were taking place about whether the swan could be made to take its rage elsewhere.
However the responsibility for the swan’s future lies with Her Majesty’s Swan Warden, Oxford academic Dr Christopher Perrins, who told The Tab that any request to have the Royal Family disown the swan would need to be approved by the Queen, a notorious swan lover.
Dr Perrins instead stressed that the swan: “could be moved or have its wings clipped to throw it off balance when launching an attack.”
Grahame Madge, spokesman for the RSPB, was quick to defend the crazed swan, claiming it was simply swanning around to protect its territory from intruders.
"The simple explanation is that we are now in the full swing of the breeding season and swans are highly territorial during spring and summer.
“Normally their behaviour is to alert other swans but sometimes they are a bit too pumped up with testosterone they will try to evict anything that comes into their territory."
Swans are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and illegally taking, injuring or killing them, or interfering with their nests or eggs carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison and or a £5000 fine.
Watch this space for full coverage of the swan’s antics on The Tab….