Has Aragorn done his dash on the river?

MICHELLE SUTTON
Last updated 13:00 17/10/2012

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The Department of Conservation is investigating what to do with the swan Aragorn after its attack on a whitebaiter on Nelson's Maitai River.

The feisty swan jumped on whitebaiter Sarah Derecourt's back, holding her down and pushing her into the water, leaving her struggling for breath.

Another whitebaiter told the Nelson Mail they had seen the swan jump on boats and kayaks or go after children playing near the river, while other children have been seen throwing rocks at it.

Now Department of Conservation bio-diversity programme manager Bruce Vander Lee says he will investigate the latest incident immediately.

DOC was mindful that the situation could flare up during spring and summer when swans were known to become aggressive during mating season, Mr Vander Lee said.

"We recognise this season is when things could come to a head and we need to make a decision quickly."

Mr Vander Lee is new to the position but said he was familiar with Aragorn's background.

In July the swan was injured by a dog bite and taken to Natureland Zoo to recuperate for two weeks.

He had contacted a British swan recovery organisation to discuss relocating Aragorn. Two offers received when Aragorn was injured were still an option for the swan to be relocated to large properties with water, Mr Vander Lee said.

SPCA animal inspector Craig Crowley said it was his personal view that the swan should be moved to another environment around other swans.

What do you think? Tell us at nelsonmail.co.nz.

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