SUNRIVER, Ore. (KTVZ) – Grace, the Sunriver Nature Center’s resident female trumpeter swan, has died, apparently due to depredation, likely by coyotes, the facility announced “with very heavy hearts” Friday afternoon.
In a Facebook posting, the nature center said Grace (known by many as Gracie) had last been seen a week ago, and that its entire team and many community partners had been conducting an exhaustive search by foot, from the air and on the water to find her. Her body was found Friday.
“Gus, her mate, remains alive and well on Lake Aspen,” the nature center said.
Gus was actually Grace's second mate, as her first, Chuck was illegally shot and killed in late 2017 by a young hunter on the Deschutes River. She was introduced to Chuck in May of 2019.
Here’s the rest of their statement.
"Although we are all aware that coyotes and other predators are a natural threat to swans in the wild, the loss of Grace is no less devastating.
"Grace has resided at Lake Aspen since 2015, when she was paired with male trumpeter swan Chuck, with the hopes that they would mate and produce young that could help to establish a breeding population of swans in Oregon.
"Since then, 13 of Grace’s offspring have gone on to Summer Lake Wildlife Area helping in part to restore Oregon’s natural heritage of trumpeter swans."
"Grace’s legacy, through her offspring and the messages of conservation she brought to so many, will have lasting impacts for generations.
"As we all mourn the loss of Grace, we know you will have many questions, as well as memories to share. We will all need the time to process this loss and plan for the future, but in the meantime, we look forward to celebrating her remarkable life with you over the coming days and weeks," the Sunriver Nature Center statement concluded.