Poor black swans in China certainly can’t get a break these days.
Two Chinese men were recently arrested for cooking and eating a black swan they allegedly stole from a Shanghai park.
The crime was uncovered after Shanghai’s Xujiahui Park employees noticed that one of their five black swans was nowhere to be found, reports Kankanews (via Shanghaiist). A review of the park’s surveillance tapes would later reveal two men taking the swan and then escaping in a hurry back on April 20th.
Soon after, local authorities were able to track the suspected thieves who were revealed to be local food delivery couriers. In the reports, they were identified only by their surname Zhou and Wang.
During the investigation, the suspects told the police that they went to the park to go fishing on the night of the crime, but were stopped by patrolling guards. They reportedly chanced upon one of the park’s black swans as they were leaving the park. They took the swan home but they claimed it ”mysteriously” died on the way.
According to Zhou, although he felt bad about its death, he didn’t want the dead bird to go to waste.
That night, the thieving partners prepared the swan by plucking its feathers, boiling it, then placing it in the freezer. They cooked the swan the next day with some radishes. However, half of the cooked bird eventually got thrown away because both of them didn’t enjoy its taste. (Details: Swan vs. Goose and Their Differences)
Shanghai police charged the swan-nabbing duo with “hunting and killing a species under second-class protection.”
If recent incidents are any indication, it appears black swans in China have not been getting the protection they need.
Just recently, a local tourist stomped on some black swan eggs inside a park in Yangzhou. In February, a pair of black swans’ eggs were stolen by some tourists in Shandong province, leaving the swan parents terribly heartbroken.