Three teens have been arrested for allegedly killing a swan and eating it. The female swan, named Faye, was killed at a pond in Manlius, New York. Her four babies, called cygnets, also went missing over the weekend.
On Tuesday, Manlius police arrested 18-year-old Eman Hussan, and two of his friends; a 17 and 16-year-old, all from Syracuse, in connection with the incident, the department said in a news release. The names of the two teens have not been released because they are juveniles.
Hussan Killed Swan After Mistaking it for a Duck, Eaten by Friends and Family
The incident happened at around 3 a.m. on Saturday and was reported to police on Monday, Sgt. Kenneth L. Hatter of the Manlius Police Department's community support unit told CBS News.
Manlius officials say that the three friends climbed over a fence at the town's pond on Sunday night and held the female swan down while she was nesting.
"The swan was killed at the pond, and subsequently consumed by family and friends," Hatter told CBS News via email. "This was not done because the family was lacking food. It was done because they wanted to hunt what they thought was a large duck."
The two juveniles have been released to their parents and received tickets to appear in court, according to the press release. Hussan is awaiting his arraignment.
Faye's Partner to be Removed from Pond After Her Demise, Missing Cygnets
They also took her four cygnets from the pond and intended to raise them as pets. All four are now in the care of the biologist who looks after the birds. They also say that following the killing, Faye's partner, Manny, will be removed from the pond and relocated.
"He will take care of those probably for another six weeks because they're not ready to be put back into the pond yet, to live on their own. At that point, we will probably remove Manny because of the significance that they do mate forever and losing Faye, Manny can become combative," said Manlius Mayor Paul Whorrall.
"The swans have been here since 1905. And so we care for them, maintain them, feed them, do everything and stuff," added Mr Whorrall. "They've been ours forever. And we will continue. The public needs to know that this is not ending. We will continue to have swans and hopefully, at some point get back to normal."
All three suspects have been charged with grand larceny in the third degree, a class D felony, criminal mischief in the second degree, a class D felony, conspiracy in the fifth degree, a class B misdemeanour and criminal trespass in the third degree, a class A misdemeanour.
Mr Hussan was arrested and released on his own recognizance. He will appear at the Village of Manlius Court on 15 June.