Manlius offers reward in swan egg investigation
Manlius residents and village officials are taking action after someone climbed the swan pond fence in the village, stole the swans' eggs and destroyed them this past weekend. They're offering a monetary reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. As our Katie Gibas reports, the village is also building structures to prevent future vandalism.
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MANLIUS, N.Y. -- Manny and Faye the swans are probably Manlius' most famous couple. And they've been expecting. Their eggs were about two weeks from hatching when someone climbed the swan pond fence, stole the eggs and destroyed them.
"To hear that these eight young ones were destroyed is very disheartening. And these swans, particularly the female is a very rare bird," said Michael Bean, the man who donated the swans to the village two years ago. He says because the mother carries a rare albino gene, he estimates the eggs were worth $5,000.
"They're invaluable to me just because of what they represent to the village. Whether they're worth a dollar or a million, they just represent the goodness in the heart of our village every single day," said Mark-Paul Serafin, the Manlius Village Mayor.
And that's why village officials voted Monday evening to offer a one thousand dollar reward for any information leading to an arrest and conviction of the perpetrator. That's on top of a thousand dollar reward offered by one Manlius business. There are also residents collecting money to increase that reward. One person has even offered to donate security cameras.
And many more have volunteered for a Swan Pond Watch group.
"I've been living in this village over 40 years, and I know what an amazing capacity the village has in its heart. I, in my gut of guts, I knew they would rally around this. That's just the nature of Manlius," said Serafin.
Manlius workers are building a floating board for the swans to nest on. They hope it will protect future eggs from vandalism. And despite the weekend's events, there's already some good news from Faye and Manny.
"They can't spend a lot of time mourning over their loss. And they move on and the season is ticking and the time is ticking. And their job is to produce young ones and that's what they're up to doing," said Bean.
The swans are already building another nest, and experts are confident there will be cygnets in the village this year.
The mayor says the person responsible will likely face charges of trespassing and the destruction of village property. But he says the DEC is also involved and there could be additional charges.