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Swans of the Letniy garden have moved to the Zoo for the winter


Visitors of St. Petersburg’s oldest garden could witness a genuine bird hunt today. The Zoo’s staff was attempting to bare-handedly catch the white swans.


Summer days have passed and the birds had to swap the Letniy garden for warmer apartments – even though this wasn’t something they desired. Alexander Berezhnoy played witness to that.

Season-ender at the Letniy garden offers such a safari. Two swans of the Leningrad Zoo must return to the bird cages for the cold times. But they don’t seem too keen on doing that. They refuse to let themselves into the zoologists’ hands – the hands which had been feeding them in spring, summer and fall. They cannot just fly away like wild ducks – their wings had been cut short. As a result, it turned into a catching game - it took an hour to bring the 1st swan ashore. With the help of boats and nets. 

Alexander Berezhnoy, correspondent: “These swans are still inexperienced. Its only their second year at the Letniy. That’s why they have no developed strategy on how to evade the hands of the catchers. One has got caught, the other one is still holding out”

Next year these very same swans will return to the Letniy garden. Not clear when yet. This depends on the weather and on the contract, which the Russkiy museum and the Zoo have to renew annually.