Raven entangled in fishing line dies

July 25, 2009 3:20:38 PM PDT
The founder of a wildlife rehabilitation group that had been working to free a raven that was entangled in a string and was hanging about 50 feet in a cypress tree at Lighthouse Field State Beach in Santa Cruz said today the bird has died.

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"A completely avoidable loss of an amazingly intelligent creature," WildRescue founder Rebecca Dmytryk said.

A passerby Thursday noticed the bird hanging upside down from its feet on the dead limb of an isolated cypress tree and notified wildlife officials, said Duane Titus, a capture specialist with WildRescue.

"My guess is that he had the fishing line wrapped around his legs and became wrapped there on the branch," Titus said.

The tree is about 80 feet tall and is situated in a grassland area nearly 100 yards off the roadway.

Titus said the bird had been hanging for the past several days and was likely suffering from severe dehydration, joint and muscle fractures, lacerations on its feet and atrophied wings.

Titus said it is not unusual for birds to become entangled in fishing line or kite strings.

"This is entirely preventable," Titus said. "If people would just pick up stray fishing line or pick up kite strings, it would save a vast number of birds."

The WildRescue organization is dedicated to developing programs that promote the care of sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife.

The Santa Cruz Fire Department, a tree service company, and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. assisted in the rescue attempt.

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