Injured trumpeter swan rescued near Penticton | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Injured trumpeter swan rescued near Penticton

Brandi Hansen rescued a trumpeter swan on Green Mountain Road near Penticton.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Brandi Hansen

A Penticton resident came across something unusual on a road in the Apex Mountain Resort area last last week, an injured trumpeter swan.

Brandi Hansen, a technician with the BC Search and Rescue Association, immediately pulled over to check on the bird.

“He (the swan) was standing in the middle of the road and had blood on its right side,” she said. “The bill looked like it had road rash on it so I’m pretty confident he was hit by a vehicle.”

Hansen said the swan was hissing as she approached, but didn’t fly away, an indication something was wrong. When she went back to the vehicle to retrieve a blanket, the swan followed her.

“Over the years I’ve seen injured animals and if they are following you they need help,” she said.

When she brought the blanket out, the swan backed away. She waited until it had its back to her and threw the blanket on it, and it relaxed. She checked to make sure the bird’s breathing was good, tucked it in and put it in her Jeep. She said she started calling around for a place to take the swan in for care, and the Penticton SPCA responded immediately.

“They said to bring him there and the vet came out and was so gentle with him, it was incredible,” Hansen said. “I was really impressed, it filled my heart.”

Penticton resident Brandi Hansen rescuing an injured Trumpeter swan on Green Mountain Road.
Penticton resident Brandi Hansen rescuing an injured Trumpeter swan on Green Mountain Road.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Brandi Hansen

The bird was transferred to the Interior Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Summerland and remains in their care.

Hansen doesn’t know why the bird was found alone and injured on Green Mountain Road.

“The rehab centre said he is a juvenile, about seven kilograms,” she said. “I don’t think he has a partner. When I drive in that area I see a lot of wildlife but this snow white swan was a shocking sight.”

Hansen wants to shine a light on the hard work animal and wildlife organizations are doing in the south Okanagan and she’s hoping more people will report injured animals when they see them, even if they’re not comfortable approaching them.

“We have a lot of birds in the Okanagan so to have these resources responding and taking in injured birds and waterfowl is amazing, and they were wonderful to deal with,” she said. “If we want to continue to have this we have to come together and help out, either by volunteering time or donating funds. This kind of work comes from the heart.”

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Trumpeter swans are protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act in Canada. The bird once lived across North America but due to Europeans hunting them, were reduced to 77 breeding birds in Canada in 1933, according to the Canadian Wildlife Federation.

Because of international conservation efforts there are about 16,000 trumpeter swans in North American and they aren't considered at risk for extinction. The biggest threat to the swans is loss of habitat and other human-caused problems like collisions with vehicles and transmission lines.

The Interior Wildlife Rehabilitation Society, established in Summerland in 2020, rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife and takes in animals through referrals from SPCA branches and veterinarians throughout the Okanagan.

READ MORE: Canada goose found in Vernon stuck with a hunting arrow

Hansen said the injured swan she found is recovering but couldn’t provide specific medical details. The Interior Wildlife Rehabilitation Society did not respond to iNFOnews in time for publication.

"When this trumpeter swan was found, the animal was very quiet and had bloody feathers on its chest and abdomen," reads a Facebook post by the society posted May 21. "A two inch laceration wound was taken care of and recovery is going well."

Go here to for more information, to volunteer or donate.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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