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Swan attack leaves elderly woman hospitalized in Berks County

Swan attack injures woman

WYOMISSING, Pa. - An elderly woman was hospitalized after being attacked by a swan Friday in Wyomissing, Berks County.

The woman was attacked along a paved trail outside the Spring Ridge center.

A family member said the 82-year-old woman was knocked over by the swan and pecked at.

The woman is being treated for a collapsed lung at an area hospital, her cousin said. She is listed in stable condition.

The woman's cousin said people need to be aware that there are many swans in that area, raising the potential for an attack.

People who regularly walk in that area say they have seen the swans act aggressively before.

"When you first come here, you learn that you can't get very close to them," said Joanne Achenbach.

According to information from Penn State's Agricultural Extension, swans can become "extremely aggressive" over territory, especially when their offspring are nearby.

The extension notes that many complaints about swans and other waterfowl come from areas around ponds, where these birds tend to congregate.

According to the extension, "Because of recent dramatic increases in waterfowl populations, these birds have become a nuisance in some places. A lack of predators, decreased opportunities for waterfowl hunting, food handouts, and landscapes consisting of large expanses of turf grass have provided ideal conditions for these birds."

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