A male Great Blue Heron spotted earlier this month with a plastic net stuck on its bill has been found dead in a pond at the Stonebridge Golf and Country Club.
The distressed heron was first seen earlier this month by residents along Half Moon Bay on the Jock River.
Its bill was forced shut by a red plastic net, and it was unable to hunt for food.
People tried to rescue it but when anyone got close, the heron flew away.
Residents thought heron would make it
Photographer Dan Rogall, who lives near Half Moon Bay and had been tracking the bird, said he saw it for the last time about a week ago.
The net was still stuck on its bill, though the heron could open it more.
He said he thought the heron was going to get the net off, eventually.
People showed up at Half Moon Bay on Wednesday to attempt another rescue, Rogall said, but the heron with the net on its bill couldn't be found. Instead, people spotted about four other herons, all of them with nothing on their bills.
"We kind of suspected that maybe he shook the net and he was fine, however that doesn't seem to be the case," Rogall said Friday. "I got an email last night from a gentleman who was on the golf course and he had spotted the blue heron in the pond on the 12th hole. And then he confirmed that one of his buddies last night saw the same blue heron in the pond, floating."
'I can't imagine starving to death'
Rogall said he was shocked.
"I can't imagine starving to death, and I think that's what happened," he said. "He just became so weak.
"I kind of hope that there's a lesson to be learned from all this. I mean, it is garbage. It's garbage from people. The animals were definitely here way before any of these developments were."
The Canadian Co-operative Wildlife Health Centre will now determine how the heron died.
Once that's done, Rogall said he hopes the Great Blue Heron will be buried at Half Moon Bay.