Feb 6, 2016

Balloon entanglement

This afternoon, we received a couple of reports about a gull tangled in line from a couple of mylar balloons near the Lockyer Bridge at the Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline park in San Leandro. It seemed the bird was in the water and struggling.

One of WES' lead rescuers in the San Jose area responded, driving over an hour to get there. 

Once on scene, the reporting party led him to where the bird was. 

Thankfully, it was a very low tide so Andrew was able to trudge across the slippery mud and reach the poor bird with his long-handled net - something Andrew has had a lot of practice doing, especially during WES response to the mystery "goo" event last year (check it out, HERE). 

After collecting the young Thayer gull, he noted the balloons around its leg had deflated and filled with water so the gull could not take off. If the bird hadn't been rescued, it would have probably drowned when the tide came back in. 

Andrew would have simply freed the bird after untangling it if he felt the bird was in excellent condition, but it was not - its feathers were old and ragged and he thought there might be an issue with one of its wings.

The bird was transported to Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley for treatment. We'll post updates as we receive them.

Photo credit Traci Tsukida WCSV.

UPDATE: The gull was successfully rehabilitated by WCSV and released February 21 by Andrew and his son Ben. Check it out: