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Swans have taken up residence at Lake Clementia.

A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information after a swan was shot and killed Wednesday morning at Lake Clementia.

A Rancho Murieta Association maintenance worker reported hearing what sounded like a gunshot and seeing a swan in flight drop from the sky about 9 a.m. Security responded, the area around the lake was searched, residents hiking the trails around the lake were interviewed, and the Sacramento Sheriff's Department and the California Department of Fish & Game were notified.

"It's illegal to discharge a firearm in that area, and there's definitely no hunting," Security Chief Greg Remson said.

Neighbor Barbara Hunter was walking near the lake at the time.

"I couldn't see anything because I was on the trail on the other side of the lake and the trees were in my way," she said. "I didn't know what it was. It sounded like a cannon. And I thought, well, maybe they're scaring the geese away."

Remson said Security searched for the person who did the shooting but was not successful. Game wardens checked the swan and found an entry and exit wound, and they felt the bird had been killed by a rifle shot, Remson said.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Department of Fish & Game at 1-888-DFG-CALTIP or WeTip at 800-78-CRIME (27463). Callers to WeTip can be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward and can remain anonymous. WeTip can also be contacted online at wetip.com. Information received is provided to the Sacramento Sheriff's Department for follow up.


Janet Nicholson's picture
Joined: 10/28/2007
Posts: 236
Post rating: 380


There is no excuse for this.  I am so angry about this I could spit (or worse) and am unable to put anything reasonable down here other than to say I hope we are able to catch whoever did this and let me show him/her what a gunshot feels like. 

Not only is the basic act reprehensible, but this stupid action has taken another swan's spouse.  Swans mate for life and if this was an adult swan it likely had a mate and is now grieving.  If it was one of the babies that are just reaching maturity, well, let's not go there.

In the last few weeks I've been periodically hearing what sound like gunshots in the morning - usually between 5 and 7 - and it worried me, but I haven't seen anything posted and so have thought I was mistaken.  Hmmm, maybe not.

Stephen Blinkenberg's picture
Joined: 09/30/2007
Posts: 80
Post rating: 125

Recent Gunfire


Dove Hunting Season opened two(2) Saturdays past, September 1. If you are out just before sunrise you will hear shooting in stereo. I don't know how long that Season is and I don't know if weekdays are included.

Concerning this shooting, if indeed a rifle was used, that bullet could have traveled for over one(1) mile after passing thru the swan. An errant shot would have done the same.

Someone knows something. That person should come foreward.

Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 927
Post rating: 706

What a low-life

What a low-life to kill something so harmless and beautiful.  May karma get you some day...

Janet Nicholson's picture
Joined: 10/28/2007
Posts: 236
Post rating: 380

Thanks, Stephen

Dove hunting season, huh?  I didn't know that but it answers some questions.

Myrna Solomon's picture
Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 427
Post rating: 745

it doesn't explain anything to me.

I agree totally with Beth..these swans are trusting and ours..there are many people that walk around our lake as well and a bullet from a high power rifle could hit one of us since I walk around it as well. If the swan was shot by a rifle..the shooter aimed at it and shot at it on purpose..this is reprehensible to me..

Myrna Solomon

Larry Monson's picture
Joined: 02/04/2010
Posts: 17
Post rating: 38

Mute Swan Song

First let me say I am not a hater of pretty white things in Rancho Murieta.  Further I hope the person or persons who shot one of them is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  My issue is the very presence of these non-native invasive species in our lakes in the first place. The Department of Fish and Game in 2007 placed them on the non-native invasive species list for California.  At that time they were found in the Suisun Marsh and the Petaluma Marsh region. 

These swans feed primarily on submerged aquatic vegetation, and they have the ability to reduce this vegetation by 95% in some areas. Adult mute swans consume 35-43% of their weight on a daily basis. In addition, feeding behavior causes uprooting and damage to other plant species. These types of impacts reduce the carrying capacity of habitat for wintering and breeding native waterbirds and waterfowl. Reductions in vegetation have also been documented to result in decreased habitat and populations for fish, and macroinvertebrates.

Furthermore, mute swans are highly aggressive and do not socially aggregate with other species during winter. Due to their size and aggressiveness, mute swans are capable of injuring people and attacks on humans have been documented. Mute swans’ aggression toward humans is increasingly dangerous for people in boats and on shore children just wanting to play in the lake. They are considered the most aggressive waterfowl species in the world.  In at least two cases on the East Coast, mute swan attacks resulted in human deaths, according to David Marks, a wildlife disease biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Again I am aghast at someone shooting in Rancho Murieta.  The danger of a stray bullet may do great bodily harm.  I am just taking this opportunity to point out they are a non-native species and they pose a danger to our population and other migratory birds.

RM.com's picture
Joined: 06/19/2007
Posts: 27727
Post rating: 1387

Swan death a mystery

Fish & Game spokesman Kyle Orr said Wednesday he checked with a game warden after receiving an inquiry about the swan and was informed “there was not evidence to support the theory that the swan had been shot as apparently presumed at the time. I can’t confirm that the swan was shot.”

Since the incident at Clementia, additional swans have been found dead, according to Security Chief Greg Remson. RMA maintenance found two carcasses in Bass Lake, and CSD water workers retrieved a dead bird from Lake Calero. There were no marks on the birds.

Orr asked that anyone with information about possible poaching or other incidents involving wildlife contact Fish & Game at 1-888-DFG-CALTIP.

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