A whooper swan that has been blocking traffic on a stretch of country highway appears to be the victim of humanisation.
West Iceland news service Skessuhorn reports that the swan was spotted on Akrafjallsvegur (Highway 51), not far from Hvalfjörður. The bird aroused suspicion for its defensive behaviour, despite the fact that it was not protecting any young or other birds.
Kristinn Aðalbjörnsson, who was driving through the area, described his encounter with the swan:
“The swan just stood there in the middle of the road, approaching cars even as they tried to swerve out of its way. So drivers had to stop and wait for the swan to get off the road. But then it started snapping at car tires, and would act threateningly if drivers tried to get out and catch it. She seemed to be in a pretty bad mood.”
Ultimately, the mystery of the strange behavior had an explanation. It has come to light that the whooper swan actually lives on a nearby farm. Its close contact with human farm life has led to the swan forgetting how to be a swan, adopting behaviours that more closely resemble that of a dog.
For now, drivers on Highway 51 are safe from the whooper swan, although it is impossible to say whether or not it will return to block traffic again.