Killer Swan

Hannibal the killer swan murders 15 rival birds who dare to venture onto his pond

Located in the picturesque surroundings of Pembroke Castle it was once filled with dozens of beautiful swans.

But less than a year later Castle Pond is now home to just one rather brutal inhabitant: Hannibal.

Since arriving on the pond in February he has slaughtered 15 other birds in a terrifying rampage and maimed scores more.

Hannibal the killer swan

One of Hannibal's victims

Public enemy number swan: Hannibal (left) has murdered 15 birds and left countless others injured, including the bird on the right who was lucky to be saved by a vet

His victims are often lured into a trap before being viciously attacked and left for dead.

Witnesses say he has bitten his prey, battered them with his wings and feet and even drowned them.

He then swims up and down the pond triumphantly flapping his wings before inviting his mate and signet to view the kill.

Wildlife rescuers now plan to remove him and his family from the pond so other – more peace-loving – swans can be brought in.

They also hope to run a series of tests on the bird to discover why he is so aggressive, but suspect it may have something to do with the water.

Maria Evans, a wildlife worker who runs a local rescue centre for swans, said: ‘To date he has killed 15 other swans – and not little ones either, big ones.

‘He’s probably injured at least another two dozen. We have had to deal with the aftermath of this ever since it started in February when he and his lady wife took up residence on the pond.

Victims: The swans are battered and drowned by Hannibal who then  shows off to his familyVictims: The swans are battered and drowned by Hannibal who then shows off

‘The last one was injured a week ago and is now in my care. Two others he injured earlier this year are still with me. He’s a really unpleasant thing.

‘I’ve never come across such an aggressive bird. 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.

‘He has various methods. He likes to stamp on them, breaking their toes, and also likes to hold their heads under water until they drown.’

Hannibal’s most recent victim, which Mrs Evans has named Trevor, is now recovering at her Tinker’s Hill rescue centre in Amroth after being rescued by a local vet.

‘If the vet hadn’t acted so quickly, this would undoubtedly be another death,’ added Mrs Evans.

One local resident whose home overlooks the pond said: ‘It’s very stressful to watch, and people are quite upset.

‘I’ve seen him drown other swans, and there was just nothing I could do about it.

 Pembroke CastleOutstayed his welcome: Wildlife rescuers hope to remove Hannibal and his family from Castle Pond in the surroundings of Pembroke Castle

‘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.’

Mrs Evans has now applied for a licence from the Countryside Council for Wales to remove Hannibal.

She then hopes to carry out blood tests to discover why he is so aggressive.

Mrs Evans said: ‘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.

‘In all the years I have been looking after swans I have never known one to be this intentionally aggressive.

‘There maybe various reasons for his extreme behaviour.’

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