THE BELOVED MUTE SWAN IS A PROHIBITED INVASIVE SPECIES.
Sadly, the New York State Bureau of Wildlife (BOW) has passed regulations to kill all upstate mute swans and cripple downstate swans near New York City to keep them from flying. In order to understand how devastating crippling must be for a swan, try to walk in the shoes of a bird who can not fly.
The Special Licenses Unit of the DEC gives licenses to wildlife rehabilitators. On December 2, 2015, they sent a letter to all licensed rehabbers in NYS that contained this message:
Invasive Species. Mute swans will not be allowed to be released to the wild following rehabilitative care. In 2015 the Department adopted the Prohibited and Regulated Invasive Species regulation 6 NYCRR Part 575 (http://www.dec.ny.gov/regs/2490.html). The new regulation lists mute swans as invasive species and prohibits their release to the wild. Any mute swan received for rehabilitation must be: (i) transferred to a person licensed to possess live wild mute swans, or (ii) euthanized