DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — A Danville staple is returning to town as Sunset Funeral Home welcomed two new swans to its pond.
The pair comes to the pond after the loss of the funeral home’s previous bird Nellie. Since swans mate for life, funeral home staff couldn’t just replace Nellie. The surviving swan, Joe, wouldn’t have accepted a new bird.
So after three months of an empty pond, Charlie and Flo are in their new home.
Swans have been the business’ mascot for four generations. Staff said the new additions fill a hole in the community, but the birds’ names fill a hole for the family; they’re named after the founders.
“Linda, it’d be your grandparents that purchased the cemetery, Charles and Florence. So, we changed the name up this year,” said cemetery manager Keri Derby. “It’s always been Joe and Nellie for 35 years, but it brings some importance to the name and kind of honor them.”
Derby said they were honored and humbled when the employees picked out the names.
The previous swan, Joe, was sent to a sanctuary in Wisconsin. It’s the same place where they send their baby swans.
The birds can live up to thirty years in captivity so sanctuary staff can expect to have these for quite some time.