Swans are peaceful and are relatively common on the Ilmenau. However, during breeding time (March/April) and in early summer (May to July), some males hiss at or even attack paddlers who get too close in order to protect their territory or young. In most cases, keeping a good distance from the animals during this time and, if necessary, paddling to the bank and allowing them to swim past are all it takes to not disturb the wildlife. 99% of encounters with swans do not lead to problems. If you think an attack is likely, it often helps to hit your paddle against the water, bang on the boat or splash the swan with lots of water (the animals are afraid of water). A raised paddle is a good way to protect against approaching swans (often from behind!).