LOGAN, Ohio (WCMH)–Tonight on Lake Logan in Hocking County there is something missing, in fact nine of something missing: the swans.
They were what are called mute swans and Bud Simpson has been photographing them for years.
“Started out with the two of them, got the name of big boy and little girl. They even had names and then over the years they built the nest and increased the population,” he said. “I saw them on a Monday. I didn’t see them on a Tuesday and Wednesday I realized they were all gone and then I knew there was nothing natural about it at all.”
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says it removed all of them. The birds, which mate for life, are no longer here.
“They used (the word) ‘removed’ so that people don’t get too excited because in their mind they think they removed the swans, they put them someplace else,” said Simpson. “But they didn’t. They came in and shot them.”
The ODNR says firearms were used, and also say mute swans are aggressive and will drive away native trumpeter swans, geese, or other fowl that tries to use the lake, and that the mute swans threaten Ohio’s plan to reintroduce trumpeter swans back into the wild.
“There was no reason to take them out,” said Tammy Besece, another Lake Logan resident. They were not aggressive, they did not harm anybody, their only purpose here was they were beautiful.”
It’s not over yet.
The ODNR says it hopes to reduce the population of mute swans on public DNR land to zero within the next five years.
“They took the most beautiful thing that was on this lake away from the citizens of Logan and all the visitors that come to Hocking County and the Hocking Hills,” Besece said.