3 teens arrested as Upstate NY town mourns death of mother swan stolen from public pond, killed and eaten

3 teens arrested as Upstate NY town mourns death of mother swan stolen from public pond, killed and eaten

For more than a century, Manlius — a town in Upstate New York east of Syracuse — has been known for its swans. Manlius officials even have a tradition of giving the swans names.

But in late May and early June, Manlius residents were shocked over reports that three local teenagers had been accused of stealing five swans from the town's pond —including a mother swan named Faye and her four babies. Faye was killed and eaten.

Sgt. Ken Hatter of the Manlius Police Department told the New York Times, "They prepared a feast" but added that the teens "did not have any idea of the significance the swans had on this community."

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According to Hatter, "They believed that it was just a very large duck. They did not know it was a swan, and they did not know it was not a wild animal.”

Two of Faye's four baby swans, according to Syracuse.com reporter Darian Stevenson, turned up in a Syracuse store called Black Friday Bins — and the other two were found in a house in Syracuse. The store's co-owner, Stevenson reports, "stated online that he did not know his employees stole the cygnets from the pond and were unaware that they were swans."

"It has not been confirmed if those arrested worked for Black Friday Bins," Stevenson explains. "The owner said online that the store kept the swans because the store feared taking the baby birds to a random pond or body of water. The owner said they attempted to call a sanctuary, but could not reach anyone due to it being Memorial Day Weekend."

Stevenson adds, "Facebook commenters accused the store of trying to sell the swans. It is unknown at this time if the store attempted to sell the cygnets. The owner stated the store had nothing to do with the killing of the mother swan."

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According to WSYR-TV reporter Iris St. Meran in Syracuse, Manlius Mayor Paul Whorrall said the baby swans will be reintroduced to the town's pond.

Whorrall believes the presence of swans in Manlius' pond goes back to 1905.

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