In 2008, ARFF objected when the City of Orlando announced plans to import a group of swans to Lake Eola Park to be added to the already large number of swans on the lake. ARFF criticized the plan as irresponsible, primarily because Lake Eola is a busy, urban park that is a poor environment for captive animals. Park visitors feed the swans everything from white bread to Cheetos, and the birds are susceptible to becoming victims of human cruelty (the swans have had their wings clipped, a permanent amputation that prevents them from flying very well and escaping from danger).
This week we learned of another in a long list of incidents in which swans at Lake Eola were victims of cruelty. Orlando police are looking for a man who released his dog from its leash to attack a swan. The bird was euthanized after suffering severe injuries.
In January 2012, a man was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after he grabbed a swan and carried the bird out of Lake Eola by the neck. In July 2011, police followed a trail of feathers to the home of a man who had taken a swan from the lake. In October 2010, at least six swans were stolen by a man who had intended to sell the animals. In June 2009 police arrested a man at the park for grabbing two swans by the neck. We could go on…
It’s clear that the City of Orlando is unable to protect the swans at Lake Eola Park. Contact Orlando’s Mayor and ask that the city never again purchases swans for Lake Eola.
Mayor Buddy Dyer
Please share with us any responses that you receive!