SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Park rangers came to the rescue of an owl in the Everglades after a visitor spotted the bird entangled in fishing line.
Seventy-year-old Lester Shalloway said he had no idea his day in Shark Valley at Everglades National Park, Sunday, would be the one when he would help save a life.
“This is the first time I’ve ever seen an animal caught in something like that,” he said.
Shalloway, a frequent park visitor, said the bird was stuck and struggling to free itself.
“It was wrapped I don’t know how many times around the wing,” he said, “and it was just stuck between a branch on top, and the bird just couldn’t untangle it.”
Park rangers said the bird must have been coming in for a landing and didn’t see the fishing line.
“I was talking to the ranger, and they told me that a lot of people — it’s illegal to fish in the parks — but they’ll go in at night, walk up the trail and fish,” said Shalloway. “A guy probably cast it across the little pond and caught it in the tree and just cut the line and just left it there. There was a lot of line all over the place.”
Thanks to Shalloway, the bird’s frightening moments didn’t last long.
“I took a good picture of it, went over to the ranger station, showed them the picture, and then they came out with a kayak and went to rescue it,” he said.
After about 30 minutes, the owl was free.
If it hadn’t been for Shalloway’s quick thinking, the outcome may have been much different.
“It seemed to be in good shape. In fact, after she freed it, she was trying to take it in to inspect it, and it just flew away,” he said. “It pushed itself out from the canvas she had it under and flew away, so it’s in good shape.”
Park rangers said the owl appeared to be unharmed.
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