Police officer, family visiting Naples rescue pelican dangling from fishing line

A Georgia family rescued this pelican in Naples. (Conservancy of Southwest Florida)

A police officer and his family from Georgia were vacationing in Naples and came across a pelican wrapped in fishing line and stuck dangling from a tree, according to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

The family stopped their boat and were able to free the pelican, remove the line and take him to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital for rehabilitation.

The pelican is now recovering and CSWFL says they think he’ll be ready to be released back into the wild soon.

They say there has been a massive influx of pelicans coming in with fishing-related injuries. They are holding a fundraiser to help them feed those pelicans. If you’d like to help, you can click here to make a donation.

This kind of suffering for these birds can be prevented. CSWFL asks if you participate in angling activities to please not cut the line if you accidentally hook a bird. Instead, reel the bird in quickly and carefully. A bird struggling against a taut line may cause the monofilament line to break and allow the bird to fly off entangled in the hook and line.

They say to use a towel or t-shirt to cover the bird’s head while you work to remove the hook, as the darkness will help calm the bird.

If the hook is not deeply embedded, gently push the hook through until the barb is exposed and then clip the barb off. Once the barb is removed, the hook is easily backed out.

After the hook has been removed, step away and allow the bird time to gain its bearings. The bird will fly off once it has had a chance to rest. If it doesnโ€™t fly off, it may need to be brought to the wildlife hospital for medical attention.

If the hook IS deeply embedded, or if the hook has been ingested, the bird should be contained and brought to the wildlife hospital for immediate medical attention.

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