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Rescue may be near for young heron snarled by fishing line

Date Posted: 2008-01-11

A black face spatula heron spotted more than a month ago with its bill entangled in fishing line is still hanging out at Tomigusuku City, and officials are hopeful they’ll soon be able to save the bird.

The heron was spotted December 6th, trying to scavenge for food in a Yone area pond. Efforts to capture the bird were unsuccessful, and a call has gone out for a rescue specialist from Tokyo. The specialist is due in a few days, and veterinarians and bird lovers are hoping the heron can hold out until then.

The bird is getting weaker, officials say, and the fishing line wrapped around its bill has now begun tangling the heron’s leg. The black face spatula heron migrates each winter from Korea to Okinawa. There are only 15-20 birds in the group, but this heron is staying away from the rest of the flock.

“We are worried about him,” says Shintaro Abe, the Naha City chief of the Natural Environment Office wild animal section. “Even if the capture specialist comes, if the bird doesn’t come near the net, how will we get him? We really hope we can catch him, and the capture specialists are going to use a rocket net to get him.”

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