Two swans that have been long-time fixtures at a local park are dead.
The male and female swans that have called Buhl Park home for years were killed early Saturday morning as they were crossing Forker Boulevard in front of the Avalon Country Club.
Their two babies were following the couple, but were not hit and are being cared for by volunteers.
The male swan has been at the park for 14 years, his female partner had been there four years.
The death of the swans had angered local resident Glenn Siminick of Sharpsville. He has fed the swans for years and said the birds had no natural food since Lake Julian was dredged. Siminick believes the swans were looking for food when they were hit.
“They were gifts to this park. It is your responsibility to take care of them, period,” said Siminick. “They should have been fed.”
Buhl Park General Manager Patrick D. O’Mahoney said there is a wildlife fund for the care of the swans, but the money is used for a variety of things, including fencing.
O’Mahoney said the swans were a gift to the park to help keep geese off the lake, and the park board is discussing whether to replace them.
O’Mahoney stressed the park board does not permit the feeding of wildlife on Buhl property.
Hermitage police do not think the accident was intentional, but do want to question the driver of a newer, red Ford half-ton pick up truck with a chrome grill.