New Swans A-Swimming At Rogers State College In Claremore

Wednesday, January 5th 2011, 6:38 pm
By: News On 6

Rick Wells, News On 6

CLAREMORE, Oklahoma -- When students return to class at Rogers State University in Claremore, they'll have to share the campus with some new feathered friends. While student have been away for the holidays, three new swans are settling in to life on the University's two campus ponds.

The newbees are getting acquainted with a solitary old bachelor named "Sarge."

Last year we came to Rogers State in Claremore when the student newspaper was having a naming contest for a solitary swan. "Sarge" was the winning entry; I liked "Swan Jovi."

"I just hated looking at that poor guy by himself," said Dana Lamb. Lamb is the past chair of the RSU Foundation. She and her husband Nash bought the school three new swans.

Rick Wells, News On 6: "Did you just google swans?"
Dana Lamb: "Actually I did."

She found a breeder, then turned the project over to Leonard Szopinski. His staff maintains the building and grounds including the ponds.

At one time we had two swans on each of our two lakes," Szopinski said.

Predators are responsible for the missing swans. Most would acknowledge Sarge has survived, mostly because he's meaner.

"He's kept us out of our building; we've walked around to the back entrance," said Brent Ortolani.

2/25/2010 Related Story: Help Rogers State University Name That Swan

There are lots of Sarge stories; most involve intimidation.

"He's kept people away from parking places too; he'll just refuse to move," Ortolani said.

The new swans have been here about a month, and Sarge's new girlfriend has been a hit from the very beginning.

"As we've been watching today they've been following each other around. That's a good sign," said Nash Lamb, who purchased the swans for Rogers State University.

Who knows where that might lead? We walked over to the other pond and found the new pair blending into pond society with Canada Geese and ducks.

"I just thought they were fun," said Dana Lamb.

We'll see if the fun leads to any baby swans sometime next year.