Meet the Swans: Precious/Marlika | Papa/Mama | Boy | Lady | Boulika | Tristan | Brothers


On this page: Hatching | One Day Old | A Sad Story | With Papa and Mama | 3 Weeks Old

 Few Months Old | Separation | 10 Months Old | One Year Old | Young Lady | With Precious!


Lady dead after off-leash dog attack

May 19, 2003 - Jan. 5, 2006


Lady was delicate, elegant (very long and thin neck), never chasing any other swan, chatting a lot with the people she loved (unlike all the other swans, she used to respond to the people who were talking to her by making soft little sounds like chatting).


On Sunday Jan 1, Lady looked very healthy, energetic and happy, chatting a lot as usual. A witness said that she was attacked by a dog on Monday Jan. 2. A large piece (approx 1" x 6") of her back was taken off by the dog. She was found dead, floating on the south side of the Lagoon, on Thursday Jan 5. Someone saw the attack and did not report it. Two joggers saw her motionless on the grass the next day and told an older woman but nobody reported the problem. Lady was left to die of an infection during 3 to 4 days.


Forgive us, Love.


DOGS KILL SWANS. We are dog lovers. We cherish that space for pats and kisses on the top of the head of a dog between the 2 ears... and every thing else... Let's try to see objectively the situation that is being described: Although prohibited by a municipal by-law, there are plenty of off-leash dogs around the Lagoon all the time. They killed the sister of the Two Brothers in the summer of 2005 (she was mutilated all over, on her head, neck and body). They killed a young female swan some 4 years ago. Maybe another one in between. They almost killed Boulika. They scarred Mrs. P's left eye and head. They chase the swans EVERY DAY ("my dog loves to round them up!"). What are your thoughts on this situation. Do you think the Lagoon with its habitual population of off-leash dogs is a safe place for our swans? What should be done about it? Write your comments on our Discussion Board.



Try the 20-Question Quiz about The Baby


Very much loved by the regular visitors of Lost Lagoon who have followed her evolution since the first nesting days of her mother, Lady - called "The Baby" during her young years - is the daughter of Papa and Mama.


East view of Lost Lagoon, Vancouver, Canada

The very moment she hatched


Photographer Fiona Sinclair was present with her camera when The Baby hatched on May 19, 2003.



A closer look.


In this zoom of the newly hatched Baby, she was actually seen by the photographer trying to get back into her egg, and couldn’t seem to figure out why it wouldn’t fit any more!


The Baby (the larger of the two) and her sibling.


Of the five eggs still in the nest, only two cygnets hatched. Predators of the cygnets include raccoons, mink, unleashed dogs, larger birds, and when the cygnets are very small - the enormous carp that live in the Lagoon.


Unfortunately predators sometimes include people, such as the person who poured oil on the nest, and the incident where a large rock tossed into a nest injured the mother swan and destroyed her eggs.



Mama to the rescue!


Mama, with wings raised in a threatening posture, to the rescue of The Baby who is only one day old in this picture.


Mama and her two cygnets.



The cygnets are getting bigger!


Only one cygnet left?


A sad story: From the path that is a few feet away from the nest, someone threw oil on Mama, her 2 cygnets and the nest!


When Ziggy, the Wildlife Technician in charge of the animals of the Lagoon, found them covered with oil, she washed them a couple of times.


But the smaller cygnet didn’t survive. The Baby did.


Notice the different grass from the previous pictures: It had to be replaced with clean, dry grass to cover the oiled nest.


Any information on this incident? Please contact us.


Just stretching this time!


Papa, Mama and The Baby.


A trip with Papa and Mama.


Papa (left) is in front, guarding his family.


And going back.


Look here, Little One!


The Baby is never far away!


The Baby is now three weeks old.


Growing and growing!


So many things to investigate!


Papa and Mama are never far away.


The Baby, some  2 months old, is not a small cygnet any more.


A bad hair day!


3 months old: Really big now - look at that long bill and neck!



Six months old - half way between beige and white


One month later: The separation


During the 7 months following her birth, Papa, Mama and The Baby were always together. However, when December came and it was time for Papa and Mama to form a new mating unit, Papa began to chase The Baby away. It took about two weeks of painful days for her to understand that she was now ready to be on her own and had to leave her parents. She was kept busy eluding Papa who chased her, and finally gave up trying to stay with them when Mama also stopped welcoming her.


The separation happened at the worst time of the year: The Lagoon was frozen solid in December, something The Baby had never seen, having hatched in May. She was stranded on the ice when Papa would not allow her near. She didn’t know how to move on the ice, severely scraping her wing joints in an effort to stand up, until one of the "Swan People" almost risked her life walking on the thin ice across a ladder. Reaching The Baby with a branch, she nudged her to a patch of clear water – only to have Papa chase her away and back to the ice for yet another day! Happily, the ice finally melted and The Baby was eventually able to look for “a room of her own” on the far side of the Lagoon.


But before this happened, The Baby disappeared from our sight during many days. Her friends around the Lagoon were concerned because she could not get food where we thought she was hiding. On rare occasions she could be seen through the bushes, on the ground (she could not stay in the water because Papa was chasing her away) to the East of the stone bridge, at a place where nobody could visit her.


As of September, aged 2 1/2 years, she is still alone but there’s a definite attraction to one of the Brothers. She is now a beautiful swan who, we all hope, will soon mate with either Boy or one of the Two Brothers.


The Baby at 10 months - fewer and fewer brown feathers


The Baby's first birthday May 19, 2004.


Spring 2005 treat: New willow leaves.


A beautiful swan - summer 2005.


Practicing for "Swan Lake"! 


Summer 2005: Her new name "Lady" fits her very well because she is delicate in the way she moves and eats; she is also a little shy. But she is strong and she is a survivor, able for example to swim away very fast from a charging Precious or from off-leash dogs.


Nov 20. 2005 - Big change: Precious is not "bad" with Lady any more. After 2 1/2 years chasing her around the Lagoon, he had a big change of heart this fall: He left the older Marlika and chose the young and healthy Lady as his new mate. A dialogue between the two could easily be imagined as follows: "You know Lady, when I was chasing you ferociously at full speed over the Lagoon during all these years, it was not to drown you, to hurt you or to scare you. It was to make you stronger, faster, healthier and more beautiful!" And Lady would answer "Of course, Precious, of course". See pictures below:


Nov 20 (above and below): Precious is seen on the left (with the bigger body and the much bigger neck), profusely necking with Lady




January 1, 2006: It is confirmed after 1 1/2 months of courtship: Precious and Lady are now officially an item.



Mute Swans Quiz


20-Question Quiz about The Baby

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Photos courtesy of Fiona Sinclair

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