Students and tourists are being attacked by a swan on the River Cam where the legendary Mr Asbo – reportedly his forebear – once wreaked havoc.
Age: Unknown, though he has been cropping up in reports of violence since 2015.
Location: The River Cam in Cambridge, which, like the city itself, is full of entitled students and tourists paying a fortune for punts, who find themselves united in the battle between humans and swans.
And so who is Asbaby? A hero or villain – it depends whose side you are on. He is the latest swan to wage war on humans, and was recently photographed attacking students who had jumped into the river after college celebrations.
What do you mean by “the latest”?Asbaby’s “grandfather” – it is far from clear that a familial link has ever been established – was Mr Asbo, a wonderfully combative swan who terrorised rowers and everyone else on the river from 2010 until he was controversially moved to a secret location 60 miles from Cambridge in 2012.
Asbo? Oh come on, you remember, it’s the acronym for anti-social behaviour order – Tony Blair’s big idea that was introduced in 1998 to stop public drunkenness and other loutish behaviour, and which has now gone the way of all his other big ideas, such as economic growth, being on friendly terms with Europe and waging wars in the Middle East.
But back to this battleground … Well, no sooner had Mr Asbo been carted off to some rural backwater where he could no longer wreak havoc than his supposed son Asboy appeared on the scene, pecking punters, roughing up rowers and scaring students.
So what happened to Asboy? Well, swans do all look pretty similar: could Asboy and Asbaby be the same swan? Or have generations of an entire flock been driven mad by posh students in rowing blazers?
I sense your sympathies are with the swans. More with the cygnets actually.
So, er, how long do swans live? In a tough neighbourhood, with vandals, dogs and other predators, 12 years is the average age. In a sanctuary, they can reach 30.
And how old is Asbaby? No one really knows. Maybe six or seven.
Oh no … Quite.
What should I know if confronted by Asbaby, or any of his angry forebears?Swans have no teeth, so you’ll probably live.
Do say: “Free Mr Asbo!”
Don’t say: “Though in Illinois, in 2012, a man did drown after a swan tipped him out of his kayak and allegedly stopped him swimming to shore.”