Seagull Sam rescued from fishing lines

At Essendon Veterinary Clinic we do more than see your beloved pets, we also have the wonderful job of looking after our local injured wildlife - the aim being to release them back to their homes. Due to our location we mainly see possums and birds, often looking after the water birds from Queens Park. Recently we had a poor little seagull, who we named Sam, brought in by the park's gardeners. Sam was all caught up with a long strand of fishing line. It was very tightly wrapped around his beak, wings and legs, and had prevented him from eating, drinking, flying and walking. At first glance we could not tell if he had swallowed any line (and potentially the hook too).

The only way to determine the severity of Sam's injuries was to anaesthetise him, and slowly and carefully cut away the damaged line. Once we started it was with great relief that we discovered that no line was swallowed and the damage done to his legs, beak and wings were only superficial. Sam was given some pain relief and we cleaned the cuts from the fishing line.

Lucky for Sam he was found early. If we had not treated him when we did, Sam would have either starved, been preyed upon or lost a limb due to loss of circulation. Sam recovered well from his little procedure and was able to be released back at Queens Park the same day. He was very happy to be able to fly free and catch up with his mates.