NELSON is being terrorised by an aggressive swan that has attacked a number of people in recent times.
Sarah Derecourt told The Nelson Mail that she was whitebaiting in the Maitai River, which runs through the city, when the swan, named Aragorn, attacked her.
“I turned around and it jumped up onto me. At the same time it was kicking me and bit me on the back and I tripped on my whitebait net and fell back into the river.
“Then it jumped on top of me and grabbed my neck with its beak . . . then it started kicking the heck out of me and pushing me under the water with its feet.
“It was sitting on top of me and it’s really heavy. I was a bit stunned at first and then I was pushing its neck away from me.”
She struggled to breathe as the swan pushed her under water, but she eventually struggled free.
The swan had previously had a go at her while she was by the river, and her daughters aged nine and 14 no longer swum or went kayaking in the river.
Another whitebater told the paper he had seen Aragorn attack several other people either in or beside the river.
“The other day I saw it try and fly into a tree to get children on the branches. It’s a nuisance, one day it’s going to take a child’s eye out.”
Both wanted to see the swan relocated, with Derecourt showing bruises on her jaw and upper arm.
“I don’t want to be the woman who gets rid of the swan, but if it was a child rather than me he attacked they would have serious injuries.”
SPCA inspector Craig Crowley said any decision to move the swan would be made by the Conservation Department, but it was his personal view that it should be relocated to an area with other swans.
In July, Aragorn was bitten by a dog and taken to Natureland Zoo for two weeks to recover.