A very delicate rehabilitation project is going on in Pefferlaw, where a team of specialists is working hard to help nurse a trumpeter swan back to health

The swan was found near Washago with two fractured legs and suffering from a gunshot wound. Now with a splint on one leg and pins in the other, the bird is slowly recovering from surgery.

“It arrived Feb. 4,” says Cathy Stockman of Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge. “It had been alone in the bush for at least four days, maybe longer.”

The refuge is one of only a few places in the province that can help injured birds from the wild. In this case, they saw potential.

“There was nothing wrong with its wings, so we thought it was worth giving it a try.”

There was a time when trumpeter swans had disappeared from Ontario. The species was reintroduced in the 1980s. There are now about 1,000 birds in the province.

“Someone wasn't in control of where that shot was going or it was malicious and totally in unnecessary,” says Stockman.

For now, the group is happy that the swan has a fighting chance; safe in the quite confines of this refuge. It will be weeks before we know if the bird will make a full recovery.

The wildlife refuge treated and released more than 1,100 animals last year.