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Wednesday, Feb 21, 2007
» David Ironmonger
» Nathan Beagan
Case Updates: 1 update(s) available
Police are investigating after two swans were bludgeoned to death in a park in Owen Sound, Ont., and another two birds were poisoned.
"With two of them we're certain it's foul play," said Staff Sgt. Vince Wurfel of the Owen Sound Police Service. "There were obvious signs of trauma."
Police in this city, located about two-and-a-half hours north of Toronto, are working under the assumption one person is likely responsible for the attacks, since a single set of footprints led to the birds' enclosure. They're also theorizing the birds were killed in one fell swoop rather than in separate incidents.
John Howard, the park superintendent, said it's also quite clear the swans were slain deliberately, since the birds live in a fenced compound where they don't encounter humans accidentally, nor wander off on their own.
"At the one end of the pen the snow is piled up," Howard said. "And from the footprints we found he first went up over the pile and jumped down over about a four-and-a-half-foot fence and walked over to the site where the first bird was killed.
"Even if they claim it was self-defence they shouldn't have been in there in the first place."
The first swan was found next to a large tree branch that had been used as a club.
The second swan was found by the dog walker on Feb 21 about 150 metres away from the enclosure.
In the meantime, a Reeves pheasant and a black shouldered peacock died suddenly Monday evening, fueling suspicion they may have been poisoned.
Howard said a strange substance was noted in their pen Monday.
"It looks similar to a poison used for controlling rodents," he said.
Harrison Park, south of the town centre on the banks of the Syndenham River, has been home to swans for about 40 years. The park, which is connected to a larger conservation area and the Bruce Trail network, had 17 white mute swans and two black ones until the killings.
|Two Owen Sound teens have been charged with cruelty to animals after two swans were found beaten to death in a local park.|
The remains of both mute swans were found several days apart in Harrison Park in mid-February in the southern Ontario city of Owen Sound, located on the edge of Georgian Bay.
Police say they believe the suspects climbed a snowbank to jump over the fence surrounding the park's bird sanctuary, home to 15 swans and about 30 exotic birds.
Park superintendent John Howard said the swans are the most popular attraction in the park's bird sanctuary and the deaths have prompted an outpouring of emotion and financial support in the community.
"Most animals are very innocent. They don't hurt anybody so it was really, I think, horrifying to people, especially the seniors and children that come down here to look at birds," Howard said.
David Ironmonger and Nathan Beagan, both 18, each face two counts of mischief under $5,000 and cruelty to animals.
|Source: CBC.Ca - March 9, 2007|
Update posted on Mar 25, 2007 - 5:22PM
- Canada.Com - Feb 23, 2007
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