The Story Behind Our Logo

Why We Chose Two Trumpeter Swans to Symbolize Fellow Mortals

Fellow Mortals’ logo was designed for us by Robin Raab, an accomplished Wisconsin artist. It depicts two Trumpeter Swans, endangered in the state of Wisconsin, and memorializes two of the Trumpeters with which we have worked.

Both swans were brought to us suffering from lead poisoning, which they contracted after ingesting spent lead shot while feeding. One, a cygnet, was successfully rehabilitated was still alive when last seen five years later. The other, an adult, came in unable to stand or feed itself and, with intensive care — including gavaging (stomach-feeding), lavaging to remove lead from the ventriculus (gizzard), intravenous and intramuscular injections of a chelating agent to remove lead from the bone, blood and tissue, antibiotics to fight infection and antifungals to prevent stress-related aspergillosis — stood and trumpeted after 10 weeks of mutual struggle and hope, only to die the next day of hemmoraghic bowel, the lead’s legacy to this magnificent bird.  I do not regret one single moment spent in his care.

The Trumpeter who lives today is the swan depicted in flight, and represents the majority of our patients, who survive. The Trumpeter who died is the swan depicted struggling to take flight, and memorializes all of those patients who, despite our care, our work and their own will to survive, will never live to be set free. Wildlife rehabilitation is a bittersweet endeavor, and the joys of our successes can never offset the sorrow we feel for our losses.  Each patient’s struggle is unique to a single consciousness and we honor each animal lost by never forgetting that the world is a poorer place for their absence.

Yvonne Wallace Blane

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