Pembroke Swan has killed 15 and injured dozens of other birds

First published in News

A merciless killer operating in the heart of Pembrokeshire has claimed 15 victims.

Since the start of the year, he has launched dozens of vicious attacks on those who dare to invade his territory.

The strong and powerful murderer then gleefully takes his wife and baby to view the bodies of his hapless prey.

His name is Hannibal. And he's a swan.

The feathered terror, who lives on Pembroke's Castle Pond, beats interlopers with his beak, wings and feet, sometimes holding their heads underwater until they drown.

"I've never come across such an aggressive bird," said wildlife worker Maria Evans, who is frequently called to the pond to tend to the aftermath of Hannibal's rages. "He is an absolutely horrible swan and people really don't like him.

"I've lost count of the times I've been over there to pick up dead and injured swans."

Hannibal's most recent victim is now recovering at Maria's Tinker's Hill rescue centre in Amroth after being rescued by Pembroke vet Gareth Steele.

The swan, who Maria has named Trevor, suffered terrible injuries to his feet in the attack by Hannibal. "If Gareth hadn't acted so quickly, this would undoubtedly be another death," she said.

Local residents frequently witness Hannibal's ferocious behaviour. "It's very stressful to watch, and people are quite upset," said one lady in nearby Rocky Park. "I've seen him drown other swans, and there was just nothing I could do about it.

"Afterwards, he swims around the pond with his wings up, looking so proud of what he has done.

"And if his victims are injured on the bank, he just won't let them back in the water."

It is now planned to remove Hannibal and his family from the Castle Pond for blood tests which could be a pointer to the aggressive behaviour.

It is now planned to remove Hannibal and his family from the Castle Pond for blood tests which could be a pointer to the aggressive behaviour.

Said Maria Evans: "The water in the pond is very brackish, salty and not particularly clean, and pollution and lack of nutrients can both be responsible for nasty behaviour in swans.

"Once we have the results of the tests, we can decide Hannibal's future. But I know that people wouldn't be sorry to see him go."

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:09am Thu 16 Sep 10

shyeahright says...

"I've never come across such an aggressive bird," said wildlife worker Maria Evans

She should hang out in town on a Friday or Saturday night, there's plenty of aggressive birds there, and it's not salty water that causes it either.
"I've never come across such an aggressive bird," said wildlife worker Maria Evans She should hang out in town on a Friday or Saturday night, there's plenty of aggressive birds there, and it's not salty water that causes it either. shyeahright
  • Score: 0

7:18pm Thu 16 Sep 10

goingtosrilanka says...

It's a swan. It's doing what swans, and most wild animals, do. It is trying to assert it's dominance in a very crowded pond. There are absolutely loads of swans on the castle pond, yet only 2 on the upper pond due to the fact that the swans on the upper pond can drive the other swans off.
This is normal behaviour for wild animals, and if it upsets people then those people need to get real and understand that life for swans isn't just picture perfect swimming on a still pond...
It's a swan. It's doing what swans, and most wild animals, do. It is trying to assert it's dominance in a very crowded pond. There are absolutely loads of swans on the castle pond, yet only 2 on the upper pond due to the fact that the swans on the upper pond can drive the other swans off. This is normal behaviour for wild animals, and if it upsets people then those people need to get real and understand that life for swans isn't just picture perfect swimming on a still pond... goingtosrilanka
  • Score: 0

9:13am Fri 17 Sep 10

MP676 says...

The WT has had a run of good stories, with the whistleblower thing, the Withybush leak, the MOT scam, and others. But this is not a front page story by any stretch of the imagination.
The WT has had a run of good stories, with the whistleblower thing, the Withybush leak, the MOT scam, and others. But this is not a front page story by any stretch of the imagination. MP676
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree