Queen of England's Swan Stolen, Barbecued

Plenty of turn-of-the-century waterfowling literature is packed with rave reviews of roasted swan. Today a few states, notably North Carolina, issue tundra permits, but swan dinner is generally a meal of the outlaw.

Certainly this is true of the brazen, yet-to-be-caught suspects who stole the Queen of England's swan and barbecued it along the bank of the River Thames near Windsor Castle. Worse yet (well, maybe), they demonstrated an extreme lack of culinary etiquette, either through ignorance or perhaps because they were in a hurry. From Sky News:

The Royal bird was found on Baths Island, in the middle of a picnic area popular with children and tourists. It had been cooked with its feathers still attached, and meat had been stripped from its carcass.

Remember kids, feathered fowl should always be plucked as cleanly as possible before roasting. Still, I doubt such extra care would've appeased the horrified employees of Swan Lifeline, a swan charity organization called to the scene to investigate.

"... To barbecue a swan and leave its body in the center of Windsor with all the tourists and children about is absolutely disgraceful," Wendy Hermon, treatment center coordinator for Swan Lifeline, told Sky News. "It was so so selfish and wrong just to leave it there in the middle of the grass. They'd stripped the meat off it, they'd carved the breasts off the bones."

The suspects face up to six months in jail for violating the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. They may also face charges of damaging "Crown property".

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