It’s unclear what action, if any, has been taken since footage of a man apparently harassing swans in Crystal Lake surfaced on social media. Alberta Fish and Wildlife is still investigating multiple reports about the incident, but the province hasn’t offered up any more information.
In videos shot between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m., a man can be seen standing on the banks of the water and is heard yelling at swans swimming on the lake. Something like fireworks or a flare is also filmed flying past a bird, startling it.
The photos and videos sparked massive outrage on Facebook. A spokesperson for Alberta Justice and Solicitor General notes trumpeter swans are classified as a “species of special concern.”
“The trumpeter swan is protected by the provincial Wildlife Act and it is illegal to kill or harass individuals or disturb their nests at any time of the year. Harassing migratory birds is illegal under both provincial (the Wildlife Act) and federal legislation (the Migratory Game Birds Act), and can result in a fine, jail time, or both, for adults.”
Anyone who personally witnessed what happened is asked to call the Grande Prairie Fish and Wildlife office or the Report a Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800.