A spate of arctic weather has left a trio of Central Park swans hemmed in by ice.

The sight has worried passersby. Dozens have called the Fredericksburg Police Department to report it. Dozens more have called Spotyslvania County’s animal control division for help.

But authorities want to assure everyone.

“Those swans are fake,” Fredericksburg police spokeswoman Sarah Kirkpatrick said this week, as temperatures dipped into the single digits.

The three fake swans took up residence in a pair of ponds just off Carl D. Silver Parkway about a year ago. They haven’t moved since.

Rappaport, a property management company in Central Park, put them there to deter the real geese that gather there. The birds often wander into the road, impeding traffic and getting hurt—or worse, according to the company. The hope is that the swan decoys send the geese someplace safer.

“Everyone is concerned that these swans are freezing, that they can’t handle the cold weather,” Kirkpatrick said.

She hopes animal lovers will be relieved to know the swans are just fine—and people can stop phoning dispatchers about them. But Kirkpatrick did want to take the opportunity to remind pet owners to bring their real animals indoors.

“It’s freezing out there,” she said.

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Kristin Davis: 540/374-5403

kdavis@freelancestar.com

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