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Alfie the New Jersey mute swan avoids the death penalty — but there's a better way

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19.07.2021

Alfie the mute swan may be the world's first jet-ski refugee. Alfie has been forcibly expelled from his home in Seawood Harbor, New Jersey, to a relocation center in nearby Popcorn Park. His offense? Protecting himself from harassment by jet skiers invading his home waters. It's not clear exactly what his crime was: Most likely he hissed at them. The New York Times reported that his fate came "after some users of Jet Skis and other personal watercraft complained to federal wildlife officials that he had been dangerously aggressive in their interactions with him." (Other neighbors said that all that was required to keep Alfie calm was to "leave him alone.")

Originally Alfie faced the death penalty, as a non-native swan species standing up to — well, another non-native species, the human users of Seawood Harbor. The state agency responsible for this decision, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, said that it "does not authorize relocation for mute swan since they are an exotic species…. Because relocation isn't allowed by New Jersey, the only option is to humanely euthanize an aggressive bird." (This translates to: If we want to take your home as our........

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