A Hungarian man killed a swan in Croatia by jumping off a yacht to entertain fellow passengers. Swans are protected species in Croatia.
Croatian news site ŠibenikIN reported on the case. About twenty people witnessed the death of the swan. The tragic event took place in Skradin, at 5 pm on Sunday. The man jumped on the swan from 6-7 meters high, and the animal was fatally injured. One of the witnesses called the police.
According to a witness, the man jumped right on the swan as if it was a joke. Children on the yacht were laughing, and a friend took footage of the event with a phone. The swan was fighting for its life for a few minutes after the incident, but unable to rise its head, the animal eventually died.
Some people on the yacht said that the swan is still alive, and it left. Other people, however, say that transporting a corpse with a boat can be seen on footage currently possessed by the police. Šime Pavić, a police spokesperson, told the Croatian news site that the prosecution is over.
A report was received at the Šibenik-Knin Police Station on August 8 at around 6 pm, and when officers went out to the field, they found out that a Hungarian citizen had jumped off an anchored boat and jumped on a swan. In the evening, a dead swan was found, and further investigations took place.
It was revealed that there was no intentional jump on the animal. No elements of a crime were identified, and the case is now officially deemed an accident.
Damages caused to protected animals by illegal activities result in fines. For damaging a swan (Cygnus olor), the perpetrator is fined a sum of 3600 kunas, while damaging a yellow-billed swan (Cygnus cygnus) results in a 9600 kuna penalty.
Although the incident shed a terrible light on the Hungarian tourist in the Croatian media, Hungary is a country where strict law and legislation is in place against cruelty to animals. It is forbidden to cause unjustified or avoidable pain, suffering or injury to an animal or damaging the animal in any way. The general public seriously judges cruelty against animals in Hungary, and the punishments match the crime.
In 2018 a child visited a Zoo and held a meerkat in his hands but threw the animal away when it bit him. The meerkat that was pregnant at the dime died in the incident. The event caused public uproar in Hungary, and the public severely criticised the child. The responsibility of the Zoo was also a hot topic at the time.
In 2019, Index wrote an article about a woman who killed a turtle at the Zoo with a stone. It can be seen in the footage that the woman took out the turtle from the runway and killed the animal after she noticed droppings on her hand. The turtle’s shield broke, and its organs were painfully damaged. The animal could not be saved – wrote Index. Breaking a turtle’s shield is very likely to lead to the animal’s death, as the shield has the same function as the spine and ribs for humans. Hermann’s tortoise, the species killed by the woman, is protected by EU Habitats Directive and four other international agreements, according to the European Environment Agency’s website. “ By destroying or damaging individuals of such animal species, a crime of natural damage may be committed, which is punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment.” – wrote vasarnap.hu.
In 2020 Telex reported that a man was spending some time at a lake, and his son was feeding ducks when swans came for some food as well. The man, who consumed alcohol that day and got frustrated over the idea of not being able to bathe in the lake because of the birds, went to the animals and broke a swan’s neck. The prosecutor’s office asked the court to sentence the man to imprisonment for torturing the animal.
Source: ŠibenikIN, 444.hu, Telex, Index, Daily Nwes Hungary, jegyzo.hu, European Environment Agency, vasarnap.hu