7:10 AM PDT, July 11, 2021
Alfie, a mute swan in New Jersey, was set to be euthanized after wildlife officials deemed him unsafe. Although government agencies and other people fought to keep the animal alive, his fate was sealed, according to the New York Times.
Alfie became well-known in the community, especially by Jet Ski owners, who complained about his aggressive behavior during interactions.
But as one local, Irene Almeida, explains, Alfie was usually aggressive when others provoked him, and he became agitated.
“The problem is that some people won’t leave him alone,” she pointed out.
“Leave them alone. Give them room,” Susan Russell, the wildlife policy director for the Animal Protection League of New Jersey, added.
But people didn’t.
One local even contacted federal wildlife officials to complain about Alfie’s ways. And when they arrived to observed him, he behaved dangerously.
“During one of the visits in June 2021, the swan was seen attacking a jet ski multiple times,” Federal wildlife spokeswoman Tanya Espinosa reveals.
She adds that because an unsafe or invasive bird cannot be relocated, they decided to go forward with the euthanization.
“The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife does not authorize relocation for mute swan since they are an exotic species,” she states.
“Because relocation isn’t allowed by New Jersey, the only option is to humanely euthanize an aggressive bird.”
Several residents still fought for Alfie, and they decided to contact a local animal rescue organization called Popcorn Park. They initially agreed to take Alfie, but because they could not figure out how to legally move him, they gave up.
And then came a miracle. John Bergmann from Popcorn Park received a call about a swan in need of help near Seawood Harbor. The animal had fishing lines around it and needed to be rescued.
That swan ended up being Alfie.
He miraculously made his way to the location that many tried and failed to get him to. And as Bergmann explains, him getting tangled in the line helped him get out of danger, and it was “probably what saved his life.”