Utah DWR Investigating After Multiple Swans Found Dead Or Injured
Nov 14, 2020, 11:47 AM | Updated: Nov 15, 2020, 9:33 am
BOUNTIFUL, Utah – Officials with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said they are investigating after Davis County residents reported finding several dead or injured swans Saturday morning.
Mark Hadley with the DWR said the body of one swan was found in Woods Cross, two more were found in Bountiful and another was located in Parleys Canyon.
An injured swan was found in Bountiful and another was taken to Utah’s Hogle Zoo.
“It has been insane,” said Brooklyn Evans, conservation officer with the DWR. “We’ve had calls coming in since 4 a.m. regarding injured swans, and it has been non-stop all day.”
So far, they’ve recovered 15 tundra swans, including 5 that were injured.
“They don’t appear like they’ve been shot, like we’re dealing with a poaching incident or anything like that,” Hadley said. “It really is unusual.”
Hadley said they did see some severe weather in Davis County, but the swans’ cause of death was still under investigation.
“We’ll take the dead swans to a laboratory next week to have them tested, so we can determine the cause of death,” he said.
“We do have reports that some of them look like they were struck with lightning or various things, but we don’t know,” said Evans. “We need to send them to the lab to get the complete cause of death.”
Wind gusts of 40-50 mph were reported along the Wasatch Front, with higher elevations seeing wind gusts of 60-70 mph. Parts of Davis County received over a half-inch of rain overnight, with Bountiful receiving 0.63 inches of rain.
“It’s just a weird coincidence and it’s mother nature at it’s finest,” said Evans.
Hadley said the injured swans would likely be taken to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah.
Bountiful residents reported hearing what they thought were distressed sounds coming from swans during the thunderstorm that hit the area Friday night into Saturday morning.
“I didn’t expect that to happen at 1:30 a.m,” said Chris Green.
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, over 30,000 tundra swans begin to arrive at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in northern Utah in mid-October and stay through December.
“Most swans show up in Utah around the first of November and stay until the first hard freeze, DWR officials said. “The Bear River Refuge and surrounding marshes are where most swans stop on their migration.”
Officials think there may still be more injured or dead swans out there.
Anyone who stumbles into a swan has been asked to contact the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Northern Region at 801-476-2740.