A young trumpeter swan, recovering from being shot by a hunter at Summer Lake Wildlife Area in October, died earlier this month while in surgery.
The 2-year-old female, named Hope, was rehabilitating broken bones in her wing at Native Bird Care of Sisters, a facility for water birds in Sisters. Her wing was not healing correctly, and she was taken Feb. 10 to a veterinarian in Springfield for a second surgery. She died in surgery.
“They did everything they could to save her,” Elise Wolf, director of Native Bird Care of Sisters, said Wednesday. “Swans are complex and complicated birds to rehabilitate.”
Hope was considered a success for Oregon’s trumpeter swan reintroduction program since she was the first young swan hatched in the wild at Summer Lake to reach adulthood.
She had the role of an older sister to other swans in Summer Lake, including Fiona, who was shot and killed by the same hunter on the same day in October.
Fiona, the offspring of Sunriver Nature Center’s pair of trumpeter swans, Gracie and Chuck, was relocated from Sunriver to Summer Lake late last summer. The hunter who shot the swans, Michael J. Abbott, reported the incident to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff. Officials say Abbott mistook the birds for another species. Hunting is allowed in the Summer Lake Wildlife Area, but swans cannot be legally hunted.
Abbott, 33, of Cottage Grove, was charged with attempted unlawful taking of a game bird. Another charge of attempted unlawful taking of a game bird and false application of a hunting license are being reviewed by the Lake County District Attorney’s Office.
Each year, state wildlife officials bring swans from out of state to the Summer Lake Wildlife Area. The nearly 19,000-acre site in central Lake County has become a popular refuge for swans. The wetlands provide food and a safe winter site for the birds.
At Native Bird Care of Sisters, Hope’s presence is sorely missed, Wolf said.
A main room at the facility that was cleared out for Hope has been renamed “Hope’s Room.” Wolf spent the past three months in the room cleaning Hope, giving her medications and watching after her as she swam in a kiddie pool. Wolf remembers Hope as a tolerant, patient and graceful bird.
“We loved her very much and will cherish the time we had with her,” Wolf said in a blog post Wednesday.
— Reporter: 541-617-7820,