Victoria Park swans Otis and Ophelia move into winter vacation home
Ophelia and Otis are spending the winter in Stratford (Twitter: City of Kitchener)
KITCHENER -- It’s called the Club Med for swans.
Otis and Ophelia, the famous Kitchener couple are getting cozy as they prepare for the colder months. The pair are settling into their winter home in Stratford at the very same place the two lovebirds met.
“In the winter of 2017, Otis came into our compound and he started to court one of our young female birds. And when they were courting, the manager at the time, I had told him if he wanted Otis back he was probably going to be coming back with a mate. So they agreed and ever since it's been Otis and Ophelia,” said Quinn Malott, Manager of Parks, Forestry and Cemetery for the city of Stratford.
They will spend roughly five months with more than two dozen other swans of varying ages, two resident ducks and a number of wild ducks.
COVID-19 has changed quite a bit over the past few months, but one thing that has remained the same: Otis and Ophelia give people a reason to stop and smile when they make their way through Victoria Park.
“You kind of have to take a little bit of a pause you look at the beauty and kind of soak it in and just enjoy the moment. It is one of those small pleasures we have during COVID where we can actually just you know enjoy the beauty of the swans, enjoy the park,” said Dave Schnider, Vice Chair of Community Services for the city of Kitchener.
Their thick feathers help them manage the colder weather, but when it does get a little too brisk, they can head inside where they have heated water, food and a place they can catch a quick nap in a warmer setting.
“They’re well managed, they're well taken care of, they're well fed. In the wild an animal like this, would live and average of about 16 years, and we've had birds live up to 32 years,” said Malott.
People are allowed to visit the swans from outside the enclosures. If you want to know which ones are Otis and Ophelia, you can tell by the green tags on their ankles.