British Columbia

Logan Lake loon lucky to be alive after run in with fishing lure in B.C.'s southern Interior

A driver near Logan Lake, B.C., spotted the bird tangled in fishing line near the side of a road and took it took it for treatment at B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops.

'This happens quite often with loons, they go after fish on the line,' says wildlife expert

This injured loon found near Logan Lake, B.C., was saved by animal experts at the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops after swallowing fishing tackle. (B.C. Wildlife Park)

A loon is back in the wild after a driver found it entangled in fishing line on the side of the road near Logan Lake, in B.C.'s southern Interior.

Fishing line was wrapped around its beak, lodged in the skin of its neck and also running into its stomach.

The driver picked up the bird and alerted the B.C. Wildlife Park in nearby Kamloops earlier this week. The park's animal care manager, Tracy Reynolds, said the loon's predicament is common.

"This happens quite often with loons, they go after fish on the line," said Reynolds.

The tangle prevented the animal from opening its beak and while the hook didn't puncture the animal's trachea, it was stuck in the skin of its neck.

"Down its throat was the tackle," said Reynolds. "And the line also went all the way down into its stomach."

Though eventually free of its outer wrapping, the bird still had line and tackle running down its throat. (B.C. Wildlife Park)

Reynolds said she called a colleague who specializes in saving birds and together they slowly untangled and unhooked the creature.

They then connected the line running into the bird's stomach to a piece of wire and fed it through an endotracheal tube.

The fishing line was removed from the birds stomach using an endotracheal tube. (B.C. Wildlife Park)

"You push it all the way into the stomach and you pull it up ...  and you hope there's a hook or something you can use to dislodge it," she explained.

"In this case it was sort of a lure we pulled up. It was an inch and half long."

The endotracheal tube shown with the fishing tackle pulled from the bird's stomach below the hook that was stuck on the outside of its neck. (B.C. Wildlife Park)

Reynolds said the bird was very aggressive when they first started treating it, but calmed down once it was freed.

After the bird successfully drank water, her team decided to immediately release it. As the animal set off back into the wilds around Logan Lake, it let out a hoot.

"It was pretty cool. Sort of a 'thank you.' "

With files from Daybreak Kamloops

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