Nearly a swan song

A large swan would likely have perished had it not been rescued by several caring Shuswap individuals.

Several concerned citizens helped to rescue a swam who was trapped in the ice off Sunnybrae-Canoe Point Road near Margaret Falls on Saturday

Several concerned citizens helped to rescue a swam who was trapped in the ice off Sunnybrae-Canoe Point Road near Margaret Falls on Saturday

A swan now being treated for malnutrition at the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops, likely never would have survived if it wasn’t for a rescue mission staged by some quick-thinking Shuswap residents.

Fawn Herrington and her family were enjoying a family outing to Margaret Falls when they noticed a swan sitting immobile on the ice approximately 50 feet offshore along Sunnybrae-Canoe Point road.

After returning from the falls and seeing the swan had not moved, the family tried to asses the bird’s condition.

“The swan wasn’t running away, it was just sitting with its head ereect and hissing at us,” Herrington said.

The ice broke when Herrington’s husband Jason tried to get closer to the swan and when it tried to move away from them, it left a patch of feathers where it had been frozen to the ice. The swan’s legs gave out beneath it every time it tried to move away.

Herrington called the RCMP, the fire department and a conservation officer, none of whom would help with rescuing the swan.

“The conservation officer said there was nothing they could do, that this was kind of the law of nature and as long as it wasn’t close to any people’s houses we should just let it run its course. That wasn’t good enough for us, so we called Twin Hearts Animal Sanctuary.”

Sanctuary owner Diane Nicholson said she was unable to assist with the rescue but would take the swan in if the family could rescue the bird.

Nicholson then began calling veterinarians and other people who might be able to help.

In the meantime, Herrington and her family went home to get their kayak and other equipment to help retrieve the swan. When they got back to Sunnybrae around 4:30 p.m., the bird was still frozen in place.

Jason went out to the swan in the kayak, breaking the thin sheet of ice as he went.

Having received a call from Nicholson, Joel Lafortune arrived on scene withwearing a wet suit he uses for surfing and free-diving usually in warmer bodies of water than Shuswap Lake in January.

As the men approached, the swan began panicking and moving away, so the men tried herding the large bird towards shore.

Eventually the swan became so tired that Jason was able to loop a rope around it, and Fawn and others on the shore, including Mike and Gwen Kennedy who arrived with lights and more rope, were able to gently drag it to land.

Rescuers on shore threw blankets over the swan and loaded it into the back of the Herringtons’ SUV.

The entire rescue operation took around two-and-a-half hours and the Herringtons dropped the swan off at Twin Hearts Animal Sanctuary by 7 p.m.

“Our hope was that she (Nicholson) was going to try to feed it and warm it up and then we could come out the next day and give her a hand releasing it,” Herrington said.

But on Sunday, Nicholson estimated the Swan was too weak to release and asked if the Herringtons could take the bird to the B.C. Wildlife Park for treatment.

Herrington and her family were happy to oblige, so they loaded the swan into a dog carrier, covered it with blankets and drove it to Kamloops.

The staff at the Wildlife Park later concluded the swan is anemic and may have been unable to feed itself for sometime. Its leg was not broken as earlier feared; the bird was just too weak to stand.

“They’re just going to keep feeding it and keep it warm and hope that it regains its health that’s where we’re at now,” Herrington said.

The Herringtons and Lafortune said they are glad they took the time to help the swan and thanked everyone else involved in the rescue.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Scotch Creek residents on the Saratoga water system will be without water for most of April 14 as the Columbia Shuswap Regional works on water system upgrades. (File photo)
Water system shutdown planned for Scotch Creek

Residents on Saratoga system encouraged to store water in case shutdown is longer than expected

Developer Bill Laird has applied to the city to have the two-acre parcel (outlined in yellow) behind the Westgate Mall, which is already out of the Agricultural Land Reserve, ready for development by having it included within the city’s Urban Containment Boundary and redesignated in the official community plan. (City of Salmon Arm image)
Plan to prepare field behind Westgate Mall for development gets initial OK

Proposal to expand urban containment boundary forwarded to council’s April 12 meeting

Mainly clear and sunny skies are expected for the Okanagan-Shuswap region this week. (Maxpixels photo)
Warm, sunny week ahead in Okanagan-Shuswap

Daytime highs will reach the low 20s with mainly clear skies this week

Janice Cannon, right, of Little Red Hen Artisan Bakery boxes up a selection of items for a customer at last year’s Downtown Salmon Arm Farmer’s Market. The Salmon Arm bakery is returning for this year’s market. (File photo)
Young vendors sought for Downtown Salmon Arm Farmer’s Market opening

Shuswap Food Action Society seeking small appliances, kitchenware for SAFE Society

A Salmon Arm artist worked with talented local fabricators to create an enormous set of steel bighorn sheep horns to greet visitors to Radium Hot Springs. (Village of Radium Hot Springs image)
Salmon Arm locals’ skills bring steel sheep horn sculpture to Radium

Adam Meikle and Idea 64 Projects made the towering horns a reality

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

Penticton Vees continue their winning streak carrying a 5-0 win title as of Sunday night's hockey action. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees continue winning streak

Sunday night’s 6-1 win has them with five in a row since the start of the season

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

A car sheared a Hydro pole and the driver was pinned by a fence pole on 43rd Avenue Saturday, April 10. (Carmen Jaster photo)
Suspected impaired driver ‘lucky to be alive’ after crash in Vernon yard

Impaired driving investigation underway after driver shears Hydro pole and narrowly misses being impaled

A crane stands in the middle of a fire-ravaged Glenmore Road construction site on Thursday, April 8. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Evacuation order remains in effect around burned Kelowna construction site

Assessment of potentially risky crane to take place this afternoon

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

Interior Health improves access to mental health supports amid COVID-19 pandemic. (Stock)
Interior Health connects people to mental health resources amid COVID

310-MHSU line receives positive feedback in early months of rollout

Most Read