tech Amanda Baird, right, holds onto a swan while
veterinarian Agnes Hutchinson bandages the swan's
wrist at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of
Minnesota Thursday in Roseville, Minn. They keep a
pillowcase over the swans head to help keep it
calm. This swan arrived at the rehab center with
frostbitten feet, and part of one toe and some
webbing was amputated.
Minn. - This year's deep snow and extreme cold have
taken a toll on Minnesota wildlife - especially swans
and other waterfowl that can't find open water on the
state's many frozen lakes.
Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota is treating
birds that have come in with injuries, a news outlet
Agnes Hutchinson recently corralled one of about a half
dozen of the birds. She said the swans and other birds
are having difficulty finding open water.
have to stand on ice a lot more than they usually would
have to. And that's really hard on their feet,"
Hutchinson said as she wrapped a swan in towels. He
"probably got caught without anywhere to go and
protect his feet, and he just got frostbitten."
director Phil Jenni said birds are also starving because
they can't find a food source on land. And, when there
is no open water, birds are also more vulnerable to
attack from raptors and other predators.
over the Midwest, swans, mallards and even loons have
been stranded by the coldest weather in more than 30
years. Rescuers along Lake Michigan in Milwaukee have
brought six times as many diving ducks into the
Wisconsin Humane Society.
said the center's staff is doing what they can to get
animals back on their feet, such as cutting away dead
tissue or giving the birds food.
applied bag balm to the swan's feet to keep its skin
healthy. Another vet amputated the ends of the swan's
toes and cut away some webbing.
he came in, we were discussing, how much of the webbing
will we have to take off. How much of the webbing does
he need to swim properly?" she said. "But he
still has a good amount, so we said we're going to give
him a chance and we're going to try."