SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- On the typically quiet waters of Lake Valhalla near East Stroudsburg, there's a hunting issue that's making some noise after a local hunter shot and killed a male swan that had been living there with his mate for several years.
The incident happened last Thursday.
"It's sad. It was a member of this community. It's like someone coming into my yard and shooting a dog," said Veronica Pistilli, Smithfield Township.
People who live in the community tell Newswatch 16, the bird was shot from the middle of the lake on a peninsula.
The hunter, Jason Cobb from East Stroudsburg, took his shot while the swan was flying over the lake.
Residents are upset because they have "No Hunting" signs posted on trees and it's against the community's bylaws to hunt without special permission in this area.
"This is not an ethical hunt. He stalked this bird in an area where these birds stay all the time. These birds are always here. They don't leave," said Susan Jorstad, East Stroudsburg.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, it's not against the law to hunt mute swan.
State police say this hunt was legal.
Still, residents think more should be done.
Over the last few days, a memorial has been set up to remember the male swan and some community members we spoke to say this is a big loss to their community.
Veronica Pistilli has lived in this area for many years. She drives past the lake every day.
"They have been here 20 years. I have been taking pictures of them and their families for 20 years every day that I come in here," said Pistilli.
In addition to adding beauty to the lake, community members also say the swans solved a problem they were having with other birds in the area.
"They keep away the geese and the geese have been a problem for the airport. So not only are they beautiful, but they have helped to keep things pleasing and safer for the airport," said Jorstad.
Newswatch 16 contacted the hunter, Jason Cobb, and he responded:
"I am terribly sorry for my actions. I did not mean to upset the people of Lake Valhalla. I was given permission to hunt on the land. It was all perfectly legal. But I am sorry for upsetting the community."
The game commission says there will be no charges against Jason Cobb.