This is Otis the swan, and he is living the bachelor life in Kitchener, Ontario.
Victoria Park Lake is a quaint place for people to take leisurely strolls and to admire the Canadian wildlife. This includes Canadian geese, ducks, and birds of all kinds. The most striking, however, is the lone swan that can be seen swimming around seemingly hanging out with his bird pals.
Otis lost his mate in September 2012 to what specialists believe may have been a parasite that she swallowed. Generally, swans will mate for life and since she has passed away, Otis has had shown no interest whatsoever in finding a mate to accompany him on his daily swims.
Park officials and caretakers have tried to socialize him with other swans during winter breaks in Stratford, Ontario when the park lake freezes over. Otis is moved to another facility and cared for throughout the frigid months, and while he has been noted to enjoy being around other swans, if any swan is brought back to his lake he is not happy. He seems to enjoy his own private lake all to himself.
Since the death of his mate, Otis has not expressed the usual signs that he may be interested in another swan, head weaving, blowing bubbles or swimming circles around the potential mate. Tom Margetts, Kitchener’s supervisor of major parks has been apart of the effort to try to get Otis to find another mate, but to no avail.
In the meantime, Otis continues to be brought to an enclosure in Stratford each year with a fleet of around 30 swans, just in case he changes his mind and it keeps him in a social environment. Park officials just want to make sure that he is healthy and has no troubles finding food or water.
When he’s in Stratford, he’s in with 30 other swans,” Tom Margetts told TheRecord. “He has every opportunity to pair up with another swan. But every year, it seems not to happen.”
When Otis is brought back each spring, his arrival is announced in the local paper and park visitors all head out to see him swim back into his routine.
One park-goer wrote to TheRecord and was "touched by the story," and was happy to finally learn his name.
Until he finds his mate, Otis will continue to live in Victoria Park Lake and swim as he pleases.
Park officials welcome all visitors to the park to admire Otis and the birdlife but to please not feed them.