Gerling statement on Mute swans
Jeffey Gerling, co-owner of the Island Avenue property, responded to The Beacon’s inquiry on April 27.
“In January my sister took some photos of the two swans on the main street in Millersport. In late March we did some annual yard maintenance of cutting Sea Grass and cleaning flowerbeds. We place this material in our compost area. In early April the swans found our compost area an ideal area for nesting.
“Conflict arose as the swans became very aggressive on my sister’s return to our property. With substantial diligence she was able to burn the refuse and we hoped that would end the swan’s attempt to nest on our property. However, the swans then relocated their nest to the flowerbed in the front of our property approximately four feet from the front door. The swans became so aggressive my sister could not complete lawn chores. This, in addition to swan droppings fowling the yard, sidewalk and front door as well as damage to landscape bushes and turf grass.
“At this time we sought assistance from ODNR who advised we could have the swans removed from our property. It was our original intention to merely have the swans relocated. On April 23, 2010, Gary Ludwig, Ohio Wildlife Management Supervisor, issued a permit to have the swans removed. Mr. Ludwig recommended a trapper certified by the State of Ohio be retained for the task.
“We sincerely regret the loss of the swans and the action necessary for us to maintain and use our property. Our family has been at this location since the 1930’s and we also consider ourselves wildlife enthusiast. It should be noted the removal of the swans was done in compliance of rules and regulations set forth by the State of Ohio and the controlling bodies thereof. It should be emphasized we did not initiate this most unfortunate series of events and the true culprits are the persons releasing creatures into our ecosystem which are not indigenous to the area.
“We truly regret any hurt feelings in the matter but maintain our right to maintain and use our property in a manner that perpetuates our interest.”