Yes we are truly all about the birds here at Melbourne Avian Rescue Sanctuary, our Florida parrot rescue M.A.R.S.. Although sea birds are not usually on our adgenda, when one literally crosses your path, you must react and do what you can to help.
On the morning walk over the Melbourne causeway and back, upon our return, right in our path was a pelican looking rather a bit in distress. A long piece of fishing line was visible trailing behind him, as though forcing him to come to a standstill.
As you can guess we always look for discarded fishing items and dispose of them in the trash containers provided on the causeway. This appeared to be simply a case of untangling some fishing line and letting the pelican be on his merry way
I approached him very slowly, and very softly I spoke to him like I would to any parrot at M.A.R.S. who was showing signs of distress. I grabbed the fishing line, and started edging closer to him all the while shortening the distence between us. I tugged and he tried to flap, his beak slashed at my face two or three times, and now I asked for help from another bridge walker. Hold his beak I said and tell him it’s ok, its ok.
Well as I raised the wing, I was astonished to find a fishing lure with what appeared to be six or more hooks imbedded into his body and his wing. So to work I went undoing each hook very gently, but as quickly as I could manage. Did I mention lice??? I was now covered on my upper body. Yuck!!
The fishing lore extracted, the pelican appeared fine and relieved as we all were. He headed back to the river free of his entanglement. I will post a pic of the lure on Face book/marsparrots with a hope that all read this story with a happy ending. One quick note to add. One of M.A.R.S. volunteers who I showed the lure to said that the line was cut on purpose, not broken by accident. Sad but true.