By ANGELA C. ALLEN, RITA DELFINER, and
Saturday January 13, 2001
The guest accused of killing a rare black swan at Donald
Trump's exclusive Palm Beach golf course says he took a
swing with his club in self-defense.
"He said the bird kept coming after him and the others,"
Palm Beach County Administrator Bob Weisman said
yesterday. "He said he had no intention of killing it."
The remorseful guest told his story in a conference call to
Weisman Thursday, with the club member who invited him
to play last week also on the phone, Weisman said.
Sources told The Post the club member was identified as
Dr. Eli Milch, a prominent East Side plastic surgeon. He
could not be reached for comment at his office.
The guest did not identify himself during the phone
conversation, Weisman said.
The men and two children, aged 6 and 12, and a caddie
were on the golf course last week when "the bird attacked
him on the 16th hole along a pond," Weisman quoted the
guest as telling him.
"They got away from the bird and finished the hole," the
administrator said. "The 17th hole is on the same pond, and
the bird reattacked him more aggressively," Weisman said
the guest told him.
"It lunged up and chased them. He started swinging the
club, and it hit the bird, and the bird collapsed. He didn't
know if it was dead or not, and he had no intention of killing
"He felt he was defending the kids, the caddie and himself,"
Weisman said, saying the guest took one swing at the swan.
"He said he felt terrible about the whole thing."
The county's animal-care experts say if a swan "is
protecting a nest area, they could be very aggressive,"
Trump, told of the guest's account, said, "You would have
hoped there could have been a more gentle way of solving
"After all, we weren't dealing with an alligator here," an
angry Trump told The Post.
John Rowden, assistant curator of ornithology at The Bronx
Zoo, said yesterday a black swan "could have been
aggressive, but it would not have been dangerous. It was
warning him that 'This is my territory.'
"It will hiss and spread its wings because it wants to look
threatening," he said. "If it gets close enough, it will nip
NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.
to Animal Attack Files Index
a Friend about the Animal Attack Files