A 37-year-old father of two drowned Saturday in the pond at a Des Plaines, Ill., area apartment complex following an altercation with a swan, local reports say.
Anthony Hensley, who worked for a company that uses swans and dogs to keep geese away, was in a kayak as he checked on the community's swans. When one of the swans swam toward him, the kayak flipped over and he fell out, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“His kayak wasn’t upside down, but it was, like, upwards,” witness Daniel Gamanov told CBS Chicago. “You could see the tip of it.”
Police said at least one of the swans kept moving toward Hensley as he tried to swim to shore.
“They probably thought that he was going too close to their eggs, and they were too scared, and they just attacked him,” Gamanov said.
Hensley's father, Raymond Hensley, told the TV station his son was a good swimmer, but that he was fully clothed and wearing boots when he fell in the water. The autopsy confirmed Hensley drowned.
Hensley's daughters were not immediately told their father hadn't made it back from work, the TV station reported.
“They’re too young. They just know their father is not here, and they don’t know why," Raymond Hensley told the station. "It’s tragic for him to have to spend the last few moments like that. That’s always my worst fear, drowning."
Hensley liked working with animals, his father-in-law George Koutsogiannis told the Sun-Times. “Maybe he didn’t fight back enough when the swan attacked him. Maybe he didn’t want to hurt the animal. I can’t understand how this was possible,” Koutsogiannis said.
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