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Tragic ending to a beautiful love story

Photographer Lisa Herlick watched a love story unfold between Kate and Will. But it wasn’t on the thrust stage at the Stratford Festival.

A Royal mute swan, Kate was a mother to four unborn cygnet eggs, according to Herlick, who captured images of the loving pair in the water and on the banks of the Avon River.

Earlier this week, Kate was attacked by a predator. Will survived the attack, his partner did not.

“It has been devastating and difficult to understand how this could happen to such a magnificent mothering swan in our beautiful park,” Herlick told My Stratford Now.

Herlick described the incident as a “tragic love story”.

Quin Malott, Parks, Forestry and Cemetery manager for the City of Stratford, said it was likely either a coyote or a fox that got to the nesting swans. Malott said although the incident happened in the parks system, the City does endeavor to bring swans back to the parks when they inevitably wonder off.

“Episodes like this will happen,” he said. “It was just one of those situations where some type of animal was wondering down river.”

Similar incidents have occurred near the municipal golf course, he said.

Malott said getting to the water is the safest escape route for swans, putting up fencing to protect against predators is not something that works well, he noted.

Herlick said it was amazing how the couple brought a community together.

“I’m certainly grateful for all my time spent with these magnificent inspiring swans,” Herlick said. “Nature at its best.




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