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Palma pond swan song

Swans gone

swans at s'Hort del Rei

One of Palma's nicest tourist attractions is now no longer precisely because of the visitors that it attracted. The small pond by the Moorish arch in the s'Hort del Rei gardens of the Almudaina palace had been home to a pair of swans and their offspring for many years but now no swans remain.

The problem with the fresh water pond was that because of the summer heat and the lack of currents, algae soon grew, making the pond unpleasant for its inhabitants and difficult to clean with bleach because this could harm the swans.

However, the main problem was caused by the visitors, who wishing to take photos and selfies with the swans, attracted them over by throwing all sorts of foodstuffs in the water – sandwiches, croissants, vegetable matter and so on – all of which rotted and encouraged the proliferation of the algae.

For the last 18 months, only one swan has lived in the pond, the male of the pair who was widowed some 18 months ago. He's been removed and taken to the council's animal care centre at Son Reus (where stray and abandoned dogs are taken) to live with his offspring who were born 3 years ago and already live in Son Reus where he'll receive the best veterinary care.

The move was prompted by a flood of complaints about the swan's conditions by the public and it looks unlikely that they will return to the pond in the near future. Shame, I used to like watching them gliding gracefully about.