Wildlife experts in Roseville are treating an endangered trumpeter swan that's unable to fly.
A woman noticed a swan on a pond near her Waconia home had been shot, so she brought it to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Roseville to be treated, FOX 9 reports. Vets found that the bird had two fractured shoulder blades that had healed and it had a gunshot wound on its left side from a few weeks before – the bullet was still lodged in its body, the news station says.
The swan, while it will never be able to fly again, will most likely be transferred to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' swan breeding program once it's fully healed, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center wrote on its Facebook page.
Trumpeter swans are protected on the endangered species list after nearly going extinct in the 1930s. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources started a restoration project in the 1980s and now there are more than 2,000 trumpeter swans in the wild in Minnesota.
Officials are investigating this shooting incident, but don't know if they'll ever find out who shot this swan, FOX 9 says.
Shooting a trumpeter swan is a misdemeanor. People who shoot swans in Minnesota face stiff fines, possible confiscation of their shotguns, restitution charges of up to $1,000 and loss of hunting license, the DNR says.
Last fall, a 26-year-old hunter was charged with shooting a federally protected Tundra swan on Lake of the Woods.
In 2007, a man was charged with killing a trumpeter swan in Carver County.
Last year, officials asked for the public's help after two trumpeter swans were killed. Officials told MPR News that sometimes swans are accidentally shot during the waterfowl season, but it's rare for them to be killed.