Abbotsford News

Firefighters free seagull trapped in tree

Abbotsford firefighter Mike Hamilton frees a seagull trapped in a tree in the 2900 block of Crescent Way on Wednesday afternoon.  - Vikki Hopes
Abbotsford firefighter Mike Hamilton frees a seagull trapped in a tree in the 2900 block of Crescent Way on Wednesday afternoon.
— image credit: Vikki Hopes

Taylor Dueck was walking along Crescent Way in Abbotsford on Wednesday afternoon when he came upon an unusual sight.

A seagull high in a tree was frantically flapping its wings, but wasn't going anywhere. Dueck quickly realized that the bird was trapped, caught in what appeared to be string or a fishing line.

He watched it for a few minutes, silently willing the gull to break free, before realizing it needed some help.

Dueck walked across the street to the MSA Society for Community living office, and a staff member there called around looking for assistance before dialing Elizabeth's Wildlife Centre.

The non-profit organization deals with injured and orphaned birds and animals. Other people had also called about the bird stuck in the tree.

Executive director Elizabeth Melnick suggested to the receptionist that maybe the fire department should be called.

Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service (AFRS) had aided with similar situations in the past, although Melnick hesitated to bother them, recognizing that human emergencies take precedence.

She was prepared to call a tree service and pay someone to rescue the bird, but money is scarce for the wildlife centre, which fundraises its operating costs.

Melnick couldn't stand the thought of leaving the gull stranded or hanging from the tree, so the call was made and an AFRS crew was dispatched to the scene.

A high ladder was put in place, firefighter Mike Hamilton climbed up, and a pike pole was used to sever the fishing line. The bird quickly swooped away, seemingly unfazed by the predicament it had found itself in.

Melnick arrived on the scene moments after the bird had been freed. She was grateful for the firefighters' helped, and repeatedly thanked them.

"Bless your hearts. That's really outstanding," she told them.




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