Manlius police are trying to find out who stole and destroyed swan eggs from the Manlius Swan Pond. Anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest could receive $3250 in reward money.
Police say sometime between Saturday and Sunday, someone went into the nesting area of the Swan Pond in the village, took the eggs from their nest and destroyed them. Police say, so far, they have interviewed one person, but no arrests have been made, yet.
Manlius Mayor Mark-Paul Serafin said he is "outraged" by what happened, pointing out that the eight eggs in the swan pond were set to hatch in the next few weeks.
Seven of the eggs were destroyed overnight.
Late Sunday afternoon, Serafin confirmed the embryo in an eighth egg, found intact near the swan pond, did not make it.
He said some of the eggs were found smashed on the side walk. Others were found smashed on the wall near a bar.
"Initially we thought that a predator did it," Serafin said. "But further down the street, several of the eggs were thrown against a local bars door. Raccoons don't do that."
Serafin says the swan may be laying more eggs in the next few weeks, so the village is working hard to find ways to keep intruders out.
The male swan had some damage to his bill. Serafin said that the man who donated the swans to the village believes Manny was hurt while defending the eggs.
Serafin says he is speaking to a company that may be able to donate surveillance equipment. Several people have volunteered to help with a Swan Pond neighborhood watch group. He also says crews from the Department of Public Works are building a floating nesting platform for the eggs. That will make them more difficult to reach. Serafin hopes they will finish construction within a week.
Several local businesses are also offering rewards for information leading to an arrest. Rick DeCuffa, the manager of the Bella Cigna restaurant right next to the Swan Pond, says the restaurant is offering a $1,000 reward. Another business, Total Lawn Care, is offering a $250 reward. On Monday night the Village of Manlius Board voted to give $1000 dollars to the reward fund. Manlius resident Ann Mentor said she would give $500 to anyone who provided information leading to an arrest and another $500 if the information led to a conviction.
"They need to be held responsible. This is devastating for our village," said Mentor. "We were so looking forward to having baby swans on the pond for the first time in eight years."
Anyone who has information is asked to call Manlius police at 682-2212. You can also leave information on the confidential tips line at 682-TMPD (8673).