Man caught on camera, accused of attacking Lake Eola swan

A man was caught on camera allegedly attacking a swan in Orlando’s Lake Eola Park on Thursday. The swans are a symbol of Orlando and Lake Eola Park. Wildlife experts said they are capable of defending themselves.

Pieter Snyman shot the video of the man attacking the swan. You can see the bird flapping its wings trying to get the man away. 

"I saw this person walk up to the swan nest, it made me concerned. I watched him and he suddenly started beating the swan with a jacket and then with his hands," Snyman said.

He said a man nearby wanted to know what the man was doing. 

"The person next to me sitting on the bench said, ‘Why are you doing that?" He said, ’I'm looking for eggs," Snyman recalled. 

MORE NEWS: Lake Eola's 'Queenie' the swan finally has babies after long search for mate

Snyman has reported the attack to Lake Eola Park Rangers. He said the man stopped when he noticed he was being recorded. 

Isaac Rempe, with Affordable Wildlife Removal, said swans will defend their nest and their young. 

"Swans are so protective of their nests and the territory where they lay their eggs. There's no stop, and it goes with a lot of different birds, not specifically swans, but swans are brutal."

Rempe said they can send you to the ER. 

"Swans and geese are known to put people in the hospital. There's situations where they can certainly tear flesh, the claws they have on their feet, what they'll do is fly at attack you."

RELATED: Orlando police arrest man accused of taking baby swans from Lake Eola

Last month, in a separate incident, a man was accused of taking two baby swans, or cygnets, from a nest at Lake Eola, then putting them in a cooler while fending off two distressed adult swans, has been arrested.

Richard Harger, 71, faces a charge of grand theft and has been trespassed from all city parks.

Police said that detectives were able to identify and locate Harger in less than 24 hours. The swans were said to have been recovered safely.

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