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Michigan DNR probes fatal shootings of 2 trumpeter swans

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Posted at 6:54 AM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 06:54:06-05

NEW HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — State conservation officers are investigating the deaths of two trumpeter swans found fatally shot at a state park in southeastern Michigan.

Conservation officers found the carcasses of an adult trumpeter swan and a young trumpeter swan at Wetzel State Park in Macomb County.

The birds, which are a threatened species in Michigan and illegal to hunt, had multiple gunshot wounds and appear to have been shot a week ago while trying to land on a pond at the park, officials with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Friday.

Their carcasses were found discarded in tall brush at the park in New Haven, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Trumpeter swans are North America’s largest native waterfowl, weighing more than 25 pounds (11.3 kilograms) with a wing span that stretches to 6 feet (1.8 meters), according to the Cornell University ornithology lab.

The birds have long, curvy necks, snowy-white plumage and need about 100 yards (91 meters) to make their lumbering takeoffs.

Anyone with tips or information about who may have shot the two birds is asked to call or text the DNR’s poaching hotline at 800-292-7800. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could qualify for a cash reward.