Los Angeles bird watchers may notice a new species cruising the waters at a couple Los Angeles lakes — and they can rent them to take a spin of their own. Be on the lookout for giant swan pedal boats at Echo Park and Lake Balboa.
Wheel Fun Rentals, which runs bike and boat rentals at parks around California and nationwide, launched new boats at the two locations this week.
The avian-themed watercraft come in two sizes — the large swan seats up to five people, the smaller boat fits two adults and two children under 10 — and rents for $11 an hour for adults. Riders under 18 qualify for a $6 per hour rental.
But some are crying fowl, like Sherman Oaks resident Leslie Young.
"These 'swan boats,' while charming for some, intrude on the beauty of [Lake Balboa]," Young said via email. "There are so many places in L.A. to experience theme rides, but precious little nature left to appreciate."
Young admits she and her family are probably in the minority regarding their swan sentiment, but worried that the boats would add a theme-park feel to San Fernando Valley recreation spot Anthony C. Beilenson Park, which she said is "plagued" by crowds and parties during the summers.
Young said she had considered starting a petition against the swans, but now thinks the idea would be dead in the water, as many fellow residents in her neighborhood Facebook group seem to be onboard with the new boats.
"I think they’re cute and if it gets more families outdoors visiting the park, great," one resident wrote.