WATER RESCUE: This trumpeter swan was sitting very still beside Cranberry Lake in Lindsay Park. It did not even move when dogs came by, but as Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society founder Merrilee Prior netted it, the swan lurched into the water with the net still over its head. Without a second’s hesitation, she plunged into the water after the swan.
Even though it could swim, it could not take off without two strong legs. Finally, at hip depth, Merrilee was able to scoop its body into her arms and carry the heavy bird back to her vehicle.
Back at PROWLS the swan was placed on deep shavings inside a rescue shed with a big pan of drinking water, food and a mirror for company. After two days it was moved to a wading pool outside the shed where it seemed content to look around, eat the grasses and prune the hydrangea.
Dr. Barnes from Westview Veterinary Hospital observed that its leg was not broken.
After eight days, a PROWLS volunteer flew the large bird to Qualicum in a private plane, where two volunteers drove it to North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington. There, unfortunately, it was found to be suffering from lead poisoning and died.
It has been difficult in the past to have birds tested for lead poisoning, but the latest research is overcoming this obstacle. PROWLS hopes to save more birds in the future.