Man Drowns After Apparent Swan Attack

Man's kayak overturned when swan went after him

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012  |  Updated 4:13 PM CDT
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Anthony Hensley of Villa Park worked for a company hired to keep geese away from a northwest suburban condominium complex.

Anthony Hensley of Villa Park worked for a company hired to keep geese away from a northwest suburban condominium complex.

UPDATE: OSHA is investigating...

A man working for a company hired to keep geese away from a northwest suburban condominium complex drowned Saturday after he fell into a pond when a swan used to keep the geese away apparently went after him.

A condominium association for a complex in the 9300 block of Bay Colony Drive in an unincorporated area of Cook County near Des Plaines contracted a company to keep the geese away from the area, and the method they used to keep the geese away was to bring a swan into a nearby pond, Cook County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Frank Bilecki explained.

Anthony Hensley of Villa Park worked for the company that brought the swan into the pond and he was in a kayak in the pond, apparently checking on the swan Saturday morning when, investigators believe, he either got too close to the swan or the swan’s nesting area, and the swan advanced toward him, Bilecki said.

This caused Hensley to “roll off his kayak into the water,” Bilecki said. Witnesses saw him resurface a couple times and he was making his way toward the shoreline, but at some point he went under again and did not resurface. The witnesses called emergency responders and the response brought police and fire personnel, as well as divers to the scene. They pulled Hensley from the water and immediately did CPR on him, Bilecki said.

Hensley, 37, of the 200 block of North Harvard Avenue in Villa Park, was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where he was pronounced dead at 8:16 a.m. Saturday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. An autopsy Sunday found that Hensley died from drowning and his death was ruled an accident.

Hensley did not have life insurance, and donations are being collected for his family. Contributions can be made to Anthony Hensley Memorial Childrens' Fund, C/O Steurle Funeral Home at 350 S. Ardmore Ave., in Villa Park, IL 60181.

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