What monster killed a swan in the lagoon of the Palace of Fine Arts this weekend?
The body of the five-year-old bird, named "Monday," was found after a loud late-night party near the water. Beer cans were strewn about, and an investigation is being conducted by Animal Care and Control. It appears as though Monday's neck was broken.
A $500 reward has been offered for the killer. Young people who abuse animals have been known to grow up to kill humans. Neighbors hope that the violence will lead to an increased police presence.
The surviving swan, a 13-year-old named Blanche, will need a new companion. Since many waterfowl are social animals, loneliness can cause depression, anxiety, and even neurotic behavior.
Monday was Blanche's brother. Their mother, Friday, vanished several months ago. Animal Care and Control found a similar swan recently in a backyard at the western end of the city, prompting suspicion of a theft. That swan was later re-homed, and an investigation is underway to determine whether she is indeed Friday.
The lagoon has a rich history of swan inhabitants. The birds have paddled about in its waters since it was built for the Panama Pacific International Exposition. Their numbers peaked at over a dozen a few years ago, but caring for them proved to be too expensive and many were given away. This is only the third known killing of a lagoon swan in the last quarter-century.