HOWLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – The Birds in Flight Sanctuary in Howland is taking care of a trumpeter swan that was shot in Sharpsville earlier this week.
Heather Merritt, owner of Birds in Flight, said the swan was brought in Wednesday afternoon after an officer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission found it at the Parker’s Landing Boat Launch. Merritt said the swan, which she thinks is a female, was shot on purpose with a shotgun.
“The shotgun pellets broke both her wings and her leg,” Merritt said.
She said they cannot determine exactly when the swan was shot, but it likely was not more than a few days before it was found.
She said the swan’s broken leg was one of the worst she has ever seen and the swan underwent a three-hour surgery on Friday to repair it.
“Normally, when we do surgery, we put in four external pins, but it was broken so bad we had to use internal pins,” Merritt said.
She said a local orthopedic surgeon donated his services, but he did not want recognition for it. The surgery normally would have cost $1,200.
Merritt said the trumpeter swan used to be an endangered species in Ohio and although their numbers have recovered, it is still a threatened species. She said the swan had a yellow band on its neck, indicating the bird is less than 9 years old because Ohio switched to yellow bands in 2005.
She said the swan lost a lot of blood during Friday’s surgery, but she expects it to make a full recovery and be able to fly after recovering at the sanctuary for at least four weeks.
“We have other swans and ducks here, so that will make her more comfortable in a strange environment,” Merritt said.