Fire crews rescue seagull trapped in tree by fishing line

Incident took place Friday afternoon on Crescent Way

Firefighter Mike Hamilton carefully nestles a seagull after cutting it free from fishing line that resulted in it being entangled in a tree.

A seagull that got entangled with fishing line was rescued by Abbotsford firefighters this afternoon.

Elizabeth Melnick of Elizabeth’s Wildlife Center received a call at about 2 p.m. from residents of a home in the 2400 block of Crescent Way – just south of Switzer Avenue – that the gull was dangling by one wing from a tree in their yard and was fighting to get free.

Melnick went to the scene, where she saw the frantic bird for herself. But it was too high for her to reach so she called Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service (AFRS), who have assisted on such calls in the past.

A truck arrived at the scene and extended a ladder to reach the bird. Firefighter Mike Hamilton then freed the gull from the fishing line and gently placed it in his arms before handing it over to Melnick.

She will now nurse the bird back to health at her centre, which deals with injured orphaned birds and small animals.

AFRS assisted with a similar call in December 2012, when another seagull became entangled in fishing line in a tree in the 2900 block of Crescent Way.

The fire department was also on the scene in December 2014, when a crow became trapped in a power line in the area of Farrant Crescent and Ravine Avenue near Mill Lake.

They were unable to save the crow due to the electrical dangers, but BC Hydro workers performed the rescue, and Melnick  then nursed the bird back to health.

Melnick said the birds pick up the fishing line at places such as Mill Lake and become trapped in trees or power lines after flying away with the material. Other times, the line wraps around the birds’ beaks or legs.

(Photo below by Vikki Hopes: The seagull, before it is rescued, dangles from fishing line attached to its left wing.)

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