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I want to share a story told to me by a two local women that has a ….
They were cycling along the Cooks River & specifically stopped at Boat Harbour to have a look after reading my post about how fishing is negatively affecting & endangering the lives of the birds in this location. See – http://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/fishing-at-boat-harbour-on-the-cooks-river/
After 10-minutes or so, they had decided that my concerns were exaggerated, as everything appeared peaceful with the birds congregating on the peninsula. They decided to take a closer look & while walking towards the long peninsula they suddenly noticed a largish bird behaving in an odd way. Going closer they saw that the bird was shackled to a 50cm timber stick by fishing line & couldn’t fly because the stick was too heavy. The bird was dragging it along the ground in an attempt to get away from them.
They both ran over with one of the women putting her foot down on the stick preventing the bird from going into the water. They then threw a jacket over the bird, grabbed it & started working to untie the fishing line from the legs of the bird.
Here is the really good part. Having no scissors or sharp objects on hand, one of the women cut the fishing line off the bird by using her teeth! Bravo! This allowed them to gently untangle the remainder of the line & free the bird from what would have been a slow & awful death.
They took the fishing line home to their own garbage bin.
They also said that they would always carry scissors when riding from now on. This was the first time they had caught a wild bird.
By their description I think the bird was a Nankeen Night Heron, also known as Rufous Night Heron – size 60 cms (25 inches). I have often seen these birds at Boat Harbour hanging out with the Pelicans, Cormorants, Darters & other birds.
While I think it is dreadful that yet another bird had to suffer a totally preventable injury caused by someone’s irresponsible behavior, I applaud their quick thinking & that they actually went to help the bird. They said they felt great & happy to have been able to help a bird in trouble, though they were both giggling & blushing when it came to the part of the story of one using their teeth to cut the line off the bird’s legs. I’m going to bake them both a cake.