A trumpeter swan rescued in mid-May succumbed to a severe infection from its gunshot wounds and was euthanized last week, officials at the Minnesota Wildlife Rehabilitation Center said Sunday.
The bird had been cared for at the nonprofit center in Roseville since May 20. Nina Salveson discovered the ailing swan about a week earlier in a pond on her property between Waconia and Victoria and enlisted several others to help rescue it. Veterinarians found three gunshot pellets embedded under its left wing.
The swan underwent several surgeries and daily wound cleanings and appeared to be getting better. Although the bird would never fly again, the plan was to send it to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ breeding program when it was healthy.
But in recent days, the swan became lethargic, said Phil Jenni, executive director of the center. It was taken to the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota where an endoscopy revealed a severe infection likely caused by the pellet wounds.
The swan was humanely euthanized Wednesday, Jenni said. “It was not a decision that the vet staff made very lightly,” he said. “They felt they were out of options. It was kind of sad. We put a lot of time and effort into it.”