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Hamptons Wildlife

A mysterious swan scare on Georgica Pond.


Just when kayakers thought it was safe to go back in the water, a white swan is scaring visitors away from Georgica Pond. Last summer, the pond, which abuts the East Hampton estates of such residents as Steven Spielberg, Ron Perelman, and Kelly Klein, was partially drained into the Atlantic. Suspicions were raised that this was the act of a landowner (or several) fed up with flooded basements and day-tripping kayakers with binoculars. But the mystery was never solved.

This season, with the water back to normal, people have showed up to rent kayaks—only to be warned of vicious waterfowl. “They told me a family had been attacked,’’ says Don Evans, who wanted to lease a vessel from Main Beach Surf and Sport. Signs around the pond warn of a pack of swans, saying “the male, Fred, is particularly dangerous.” And though no reports of swan attacks have been filed with the police, kayakers have abandoned Georgica for Sag Pond or Cedar Point County Park.

But oddly, nobody is taking responsibility for the signs. Some say they were put up by a woman whose children were chased by the bird. But Larry Penny, East Hampton’s natural-resources director, thinks they may just reflect a desire for privacy. “We think it was someone on the pond.” In the past, Ron Perelman’s armed guards have waved approaching kayakers away from his property. But, says his spokesperson, “we are not responsible for the signs. Nor do we have any swans on the payroll.”


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