Photos of dead swan sparks anger on social media

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

Changing your Facebook profile photo can often generate a few positive comments and some likes – but recently, an area youth’s profile picture has received a lot more than a few clicks.

These photos show a small group proudly posing with what appears to be a dead mute swan.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, Mute Swans are a protected species and killing them is illegal.

Darlene Thompson:  “Swans mate for life. You just don’t go out and shoot an animal”

Darlene Thompson says, when she saw the photo earlier this week she was  outraged.

Exactly how the bird was killed is unclear.  Attempts to contact the person who posted the picture – were unsuccessful – however Thompson says she exchanged private messages with someone claiming to be the sister of the boy holding the bird.

She told Thompson the group found the bird stuck in a fishing net.

Leah Birmingham at Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre is familiar with the birds – having treated injured Mute Swans – and no matter how it was killed – she understands why the pictures are upsetting.

Leah Birmingham:  “The disrespectful nature in which they’re treating the animal. That’s I think the most hurtful and shocking thing to people who see the photo.”

Thompson is still upset about the picture, and her re-posting of the picture has attracted a lot of attention.

Representatives from The Ministry of Natural Resources weren’t available for an interview – but told CKWS they have received a copy of the photo – and have opened an  investigation.

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