Trumpeter swan
Photo by Roger Klein/CTV Barrie

Ontario wildlife refuge treating trumpeter swan for gunshot wound and fractured legs

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Wildlife specialists are working hard to nurse a trumpeter swan back to health, after it was brought in suffering from two fractured legs and a gunshot wound.

The swan, who was found near Washago, Ontario, is now being treated at the Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge in Pefferlaw, which is located on the south end of Lake Simcoe. According to reports, the bird arrived at the refuge in early February.

To wildlife workers, it’s clear that the swan spent at least a few days alone in the wild. It’s unclear, however, how it sustained its injuries.

“Someone wasn’t in control of where that shot was going or it was malicious  and totally unnecessary,” Cathy Stockman of Shades of Hope told CTV News.

The swan’s injuries were serious, but because there was nothing wrong its wings, they decided “it was worth giving a try,” Stockman said. Especially since they’re one of the only places in the province that can help.

Shades of Hope rescues a variety of orphaned or injured animals and reptiles, and it’s one of few places in Ontario equipped to treat wild birds.

The swan now has a stint on one leg, pins in the other, and is slowly recovering from surgery.

Although it will be weeks before anyone knows whether or not the bird will make a full recovery, those at Shades of Hope are happy knowing they’ve done what they can, and that the swan now has a fighting chance.

This swan is one of more than a thousand animals the centre has treated in the past year, but it’s an important one. Trumpeter swans were originally native to Ontario, but became locally extinct due to hunting pressure and habitat loss. They were reintroduced to the province by conservation activists in the 1980s, and just three decades later, there are an estimated 1,000 of them in Ontario.

Hopefully, this swan will one day be rereleased to join the others, but for now, it’s safe inside the quiet wildlife refuge.

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