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Many people enjoy seeing all the birds at Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park here in Vancouver, the swans in particular.
But I was troubled to learn that the swans are not there because they like the lake, but because they are kept there. They all have their wing tendons clipped so that they can’t fly away. This makes them prisoners in their own homes.
As the ducks and geese come and go, the swans are unable to fly anywhere. Because more swans are kept on the lake than would be possible in the wild, they are fed by the park authorities each morning. In nature, only one pair of swans would live on a lake this size.
It is wonderful to see swans, but now that I know that they are not there by choice, I don’t think I can enjoy seeing them anymore. Now they’ll just make me sad, like any imprisonment of animals (i.e. the nearby aquarium).
Most of my information for this post comes from the Stanley Park Ecological Society website.