The Mallorca


Swans give city pond new life

Tradition of guardian swans dates back a thousand years

In accordance with a tradition dating back to the times of the Moorish rule of Mallorca, two young swans were yesterday released onto a pond at S’Hort del Rei. The pair of white swans, which were born and raised at Natura Park where they were cared for by Mariano Mas from the Department of Animal Welfare, were released by veterinarians.

“Swans are actually very territorial birds and males will in fact kill each other in a dispute,” said Mas, explaining whey the previous inhabitant, a widowed black swan had been ‘retired’ to a Son Reus animal protection centre. The birds, being monogamous, have been known to die only days after their partner dies, said the vet.

The new inhabitants are ringed for identification and it is hoped that they will take well to their new environment. To make their home as comfortable as possible the city council has planned a number of measures, including the construction of a small wooden house on the water for the birds to breed and look after their young in, and an access ramp. A sign has also been erected warning the public not to throw stones at the birds. “Unfortunately vandals may try to harm them,” said Donate Francisco, a spokesman from the infrastructure division of the council.

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