In 2012, swan caretaker Anthony Hensley died after being attacked at work by one of the large birds. Hensley was killed after he fell out of a kayak and was dragged underwater by a swan as he tried to swim ashore.
Now, two years later, Hensley’s wife is suing his former employer and the property complex he died at. Amy Hensley claims both entities are at least partially responsible for her husband’s death.
Hensley’s lawsuit claims both defendants “knew or should have known that mute swans are strongly territorial with a dangerous propensity to attack.”
Swans like the one that killed Hensley are notoriously aggressive. In fact, that’s the reason they are found at various lakes and ponds in Illinois in the first place. Placing the birds at the properties is a proven way to keep migrating geese from overtaking local waters.
Henley is invoking an Illinois statute in her lawsuit that says animal owners can sometimes be held responsible for damages inflicted on other by their animals. Since the listed defendants technically own the swans, Henley is hoping the law applies here. Her lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages.
Here’s what Hensley’s father had to say in 2012 following his son’s death.
“He’s going to be remembered as one of the most wonderful fathers in the world,” he said. “A very good father, a very good husband; there wasn’t a mean bone in his body.”