Swan rescued from Lake Mendota dies from lead-poisoning

A swan stranded on partially frozen Lake Mendota

MADISON, Wis. — The injured swan that was rescued from Lake Mendota’s icy surface Sunday afternoon has died.

According to a Facebook post from the Dane County Humane Society’s Wildlife Center, volunteers found extremely high levels of lead in the swan’s blood during a health exam. Despite immediate treatment, the swan didn’t make it through the night.

During the rescue, people reported that two bald eagles were nearby watching the struggling swan.

“We are sad to lose this patient, but a silver lining is that the swan passed away in a warm and quiet place rather than suffering in the cold,” the post said. “Taking this swan out of the area also prevented the two bald eagles present from being exposed to another source of lead. This rescue reduced suffering for the swan, and possibly saved the lives of the two eagles.”

Madison’s Fire Lake Rescue Team rescued the swan Sunday afternoon and turned it over to the Humane Society.