Black Swan Hunting

The Hunting of The Black (and other) Swans

The Hunting of The Black (and other) Swans. Can you imagine the slaughter of Black Swans (and other swans) as a local tourist attraction?

According to the “Environment Bay of Plenty Environmental Publication” 300 to 1,000 black swans are being shot each year … This spectacle usually occurs from April to June. The official reason is “culling” – reducing the numbers – but there are far more humane methods!!!

Two Black Swans In The Pond
Two Black Swans In The Pond

We are trying to stop the next event from happening — but we need your help!

  • We need enough signatures and your comments to get the media interested. Please sign and forward!

Phil McKernon, from New Zealand, drew our attention to this activity and reiterated his experience:

“[G]roups of men in boats (shotguns in hand) go out into the bay at the Northern end of Tauranga Harbour [in New Zealand], where others on jet skis herd the swans toward the waiting guns, that blast the [Black] swans from the sky.”

Following this, he contacted authorities to no avail. However, he has made it his mission to stop this insanity.

Recognizing that he alone cannot stop this (and other) slaughters, he sent us the below article for publication, hoping that we can join his efforts — the success or failure of this mission depends entirely on every one of us who reads the below and then takes action.

In researching this topic, unfortunately, this is not a localized issue – such shootings occur all over the world. Our final goal should be to provide legal protection for these magnificent birds.

What you can do to help? Please …

  • Read the below article about what Phil, and other tourists, experienced and will continue to experience unless this insane practice is stopped …
  • Sign the “Stop The Slaughter of Swans Petition“ … Please forward the petition to everybody you know, and ask them to do the same.
  • If you are a New Zealand resident who can potentially travel to the next “event” — please let us know! We can organize something. Preferably with the media on-site as well …
  • For those of us who are not local — your petition signatures and comments are invaluable — as they will help us get the attention of the authorities and the media. THANK YOU FOR HELPING US STOP THIS!
The Hunting of The Black Swans
The Hunting of The Black Swans

It’s so simple. The more people show that they care, the more we will motivate the authorities to afford legal protection against hunting and shooting of these magnificent birds.

Once we have enough signatures and demonstrated interest in this topic, we will contact the media and Wildlife Protection Agencies – PLEASE HELP US STOP THIS!

If you would like to be kept up-to-date on this matter,

The Plight of the Black Swan in New Zealand

By Phil McKernon – Panorama Lodge

Usually in the winter, low tide, and most years, groups of men, guns in hand, depart from different points of the harbour, some men wade in, with others on jet skis, working together slowly and gently, (so as not to disturb the swans too much for them to take flight), herd the swans towards the guns that are waiting at one end of the harbour, when the first shots ring out most of the swans take a flight straight into the path of more men with guns.

Black Swan Standing Near The Lake
Black Swan Standing Near The Lake

I then witness these graceful creatures shot while trying to escape in mid flight then see them fall helplessly one by one back into the water hopefully dead and not just injured as a lot are. 

I find this sight extremely traumatic and to the day I die will never understand how people can take pleasure in killing such wonderful creatures.

The dead or injured swans are then systematically collected the bodies thrown  into boats waiting  to take them to shore, where there are groups of people waiting to cut them up, they chuck out everything but the breasts, I witnessed young children joining in this task, think the last time this was done they boasted some 200 birds killed!!

When all the gunmen have gone, we endure the ‘Swan Song’ this is the few remaining birds that are left calling out for their lifetime mate, as swans are monogamous creatures.

People argue that the swans are aggressive?

[ H]aving been a wildlife rescuer in the UK I have had to deal with injured swans, the only time they are aggressive is when they are nesting or feel threatened, much like the rest of the animal kingdom and that includes us!

They say they foul the harbour and fields?

[A]s the harbour is obviously tidal, most of this ‘fouling’ will be removed with each tide, I would like to see evidence of this damage, at the same time maybe research done on the run -off  from the farms, boaties and waste from irresponsible people that pollute the same area!!

One complaint is that swans graze on (and soil) farmland. Research was done on Brent Geese in the UK where they found that the natural droppings of these geese actually help fertilize the ground!

They say they eat flounder?

Gun people report that they have cut open the gizzards of the swans they shot and, on occasion, found some baby flounder. However, Swans are vegetarians!  I believe these small fish are picked up purely unintentional – as the swans graze on the seabed.

Closeup Image of Two Black Swans
Closeup Image of Two Black Swans

Actually, these swans consume some of the smelly sea lettuce, which residents are most pleased about.

  • What to do when Waterfowl becomes a problem …


Below is a sad video to watch. Beautiful swans were killed for fun.

Organizations to contact

Signing the “Stop The Slaughter of Swans Petition” petition is very important — however, if you have time to also contact the below organizations, it will have an even greater impact.

  • Campaigns: (worldwide)

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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