Two adult swans were shot and killed with what appears to be a high-powered rifle in the Mat-Su this weekend, and Alaska Wildlife Troopers are trying to figure out who is to blame.
The birds, which are federally protected as migrating waterfowl, were discovered afloat in Jim Lake Sunday morning by a group on a canoe outing, according to troopers. They appeared to have been a mating pair and have left the area swan-less, troopers said.
"More than anything the locals out in the Butte area, the Jim Lake area, are extremely upset about this," wildlife trooper Cody Litster said. "There's something about swans that people normally keep hands off and kind of revere them, but these ones were shot and left out there."
The boaters told troopers that as they were arriving, a group of campers was leaving, and troopers are now seeking out that group for questioning, he said. The swans were seized as evidence.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Alaska Fish and Wildlife Safeguard at 1-800-478-3377.