Some people might think a crow didn’t deserve so much attention, but Elizabeth Melnick would disagree.
The founder of Elizabeth’s Wildlife Center in Abbotsford believes all creatures deserve to live, so when she was informed about the plight of one such bird last Friday, she couldn’t rest.
The episode began with a phone call to the centre from a woman who had spotted a crow caught in a power line in the area of Farrant Crescent and Ravine Avenue near Mill Lake.
It appeared that the crow was tangled in some fishing line. Melnick told the caller that she was unable to rescue the bird due to the electrical dangers, and suggested she notify BC Hydro.
A while later, Melnick hadn’t heard anything, and she contacted the woman to see if the bird had been saved.
The woman informed Melnick that she had called Hydro but she wasn’t sure what had transpired.
Melnick doesn’t drive at night, and she had to wait until the next morning before she could get to the scene herself.
She was heartbroken at what she spotted.
“The bird was dangling by one wing and trying to free itself but he just kept spinning,” she said.
Melnick then contacted Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service’s (AFRS) Hall 6 on West Railway Street to see if they could help. AFRS members have assisted with similar rescues in the past.
A truck arrived at the scene but the crew confirmed they, too, were unable to save the bird.
BC Hydro was again contacted, and this time a crew arrived right away.
Melnick found out that they hadn’t come out the night before because they thought the crow was dead.
Within minutes, the bird was freed from the power line and placed in Melnick’s care.
Back at the wildlife centre, she determined that the crow was relatively unscathed from the experience, other than losing a toe and having a bit of damage to one wing.
She said she was impressed by the response from AFRS and BC Hydro.
“It was really neat. It was so heartwarming. Everyone pulled together.”
Melnick said she is dismayed about the ongoing issue of small creatures – mainly birds – being hurt by fishing line left behind at Mill Lake.
Melnick said ducks, Canada geese and other birds often become trapped in trees or in power lines after flying away with the material. Other times, the line wraps around the birds’ beaks or legs.
In some cases, birds have had to be euthanized because the fishing line has cut through their flesh right to the bone.
“This fishing line is just wicked stuff. The more they struggle, the tighter it gets. It’s needless suffering,” Melnick said.
Elizabeth’s Wildlife Center is a non-profit organization that cares for injured and/or orphaned wild birds and small animals such as squirrels, raccoons and rabbits, with the goal of returning them to their natural habitat.
For more information or to make a donation, visit abbynews.com/4Good.