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Swan plan does more harm than good

Hundreds of hungry and injured trumpeter swans have not flown south for the winter as DNR officials hoped they would, reported the Star Tribune.

KARE 11 News reported that the species which was once almost gone, is now numbered at an estimated 3000 birds.

The problem started in December when DNR officials asked residents to stop feeding the swans in order to spur them to fly south to warmer climates for the winter and to fend for themselves to find food. The swans did not comply.

The harsh Minnesota winter was not help either. "The winter was more severe than we anticipated," said DNR nongame public information officer Lori Naumann, speaking to the Star Tribune.

About 40 swans have been taken in by the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota, that number is double the usual amount.

"We've worked a generation to restore this magnificent bird and to have them wiped out by a highly contagious disease would be a shame," said Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Executive Director Phil Jenni, speaking to KARE 11.

That highly contagious disease could be caused by the birds flocking to one particular open body of water near the power plant in Monticello, Minn. It is an area where the birds at at a highly increased risk of disease, especially when they are all localized in one area.