Brick, NJ’s ‘aggressive’ swan saved from death penalty
BRICK – Mother Nature works in mysterious ways.
A male mute swan named “Alfie” may have been accidentally saved from certain death when it was discovered Friday near Seawood Harbor trapped in a fishing line, The New York Times reported.
The death that awaited Alfie, a longtime mainstay of those waters, had been a sanction imposed by federal officials who considered the bird too “aggressive” for people on jet skis.
Supporters, including the mayor, had asked for a reprieve in the form of moving the swan to a sanctuary set up at the Popcorn Park Animal Refuge. But state and federal officials shrugged their shoulders, explaining that the relocation of wildlife just wasn’t something happening, especially when wildlife is considered an invasive species.
Getting trapped in the fishing line, which prompted an emergency rescue by Popcorn Park, seems to have changed all that.
On Saturday, Ocean County State Senator Jim Holzapfel and MPs Greg McGuckin and John Catalano praised the rescue, issuing a joint statement saying they were “delighted the USDA and Popcorn Park were able to work. with us to successfully save Alfie ”.
Swan supporters say the folks on Jet Skis instigated the Territorial Bird before anyone complained and alerted the USDA. These residents tried to negotiate a deal to move Alfie to Popcorn Park.
At first, officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state’s Department of Environmental Protection seemed unclear as to how this process might unfold, federal officials telling township residents Irene and Tony Almeida that they needed a state permit. The state, in turn, returned the responsibility to federal authorities.
On Friday, a spokesperson for DEP and its Fisheries and Wildlife Division explained that it could not issue a relocation permit because the state reached an agreement deferring issues relating to certain issues to the USDA. aggressive wild species, such as mute swans.
“Mute swans, an exotic species that is not native to New Jersey, can behave aggressively and pose a threat to public safety,” the spokesperson said. “In the case of the swan in Brick Township, Ocean County, the USDA was advised that a swan was acting aggressively and dispatched inspectors to observe the area.”
The spokesperson added that the Fisheries and Wildlife Division does not have the authority to move non-native and aggressive wildlife to private institutions.
And so it seemed on Friday that Alfie was due for her swan song. Until somehow he got caught in that fishing line.
As John Bergmann, director of Popcorn Park, told the New York Times over the weekend: “It probably saved his life.”
Sergio Bichao is the digital editor of New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: call 609-775-9793 or email [email protected]
Stunning Jersey Shore Rentals, Steps from the Beach
Here are 10 homes along the Jersey Shore for an Insta-ready oceanfront vacation.
Cape May, NJ: 15 Wonderful Places To Visit
WATCH: Here are America’s 50 Best Beach Towns
Read on to see if your favorite beach town has made the cut.