A rare trumpeter swan may live to swim another day thanks to the quick-thinking intervention of an eastern Ontario man.

Rob Fenwick was boating with his wife in Depot Lakes Conservation Area near Napanee, Ont., Sunday, when he noticed the big bird limply waving its wing in an unsuccessful attempt to take off.

"We noticed it was alone on the lake and as we went to take some pictures we noticed it was bleeding and very frightened," Fenwick wrote in a Facebook post.

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Fenwick covered the bird's face in an attempt to calm the animal down. (Rob Fenwick/Supplied)

Fenwick called the nearby Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre for advice. 

After a quick chat, Fenwick chased the injured animal almost the length of the lake until it allowed him to get close enough to help. 

"We managed to get it on the boat with its head covered to make it docile," Fenwick said. That's when he noticed what looked like a gunshot wound on the bird's wing.

swan shot Napanee

The swan had been shot in the wing, according to Fenwick. (Rob Fenwick/Supplied)

The couple transported the bird to the wildlife centre, where they learned there are fewer than 1,000 trumpeter swans left in Ontario, although the bird is not currently listed among species at risk in the province.

Fenwick said he believes a hunter illegally tried to kill the bird. He's reported the incident to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

"I hope the person who shot this beautiful [rare] bird knows that by noon tomorrow every game warden in the area will be looking for them," Fenwick said.

swan shot NApanee

The swan is now receiving treatment for the gunshot wound to its wing. (Rob Fenwick/Supplied)