I see these two park rangers walking out of the dead mangroves. She’s carrying a pelican.
Someone had called in to the ranger’s station that they had seen a pelican trapped in the mangroves. The rangers came right out and found the pelican.
This pelican had a big fishing hook and fishing wire all wrapped around it’s wing and foot. It had gotten caught in the mangroves and would have been trapped there if he had been on a spoil island where no one could see him. You can just barely see the fishing lure hanging underneath it’s foot.
The rangers worked quickly and the pelican never seemed in stress.
All free, she’s careful letting the pelican go so that big beak doesn’t get her in the face.
He’s off but doesn’t go too far.
He stops and looks back at them. What was he thinking?
Free of line and tackle, he finally takes off.
It’s really a thankless job. At least the birds can’t talk. Out at the north beach of Fort Desoto with my friend Pam, we saw a park ranger truck pull up near the end of the beach and wondered what they were doing in bushes. We realized they were rescueing a trapped pelican. We stayed back while they worked so as not to crowd them or spook the pelican. They had him free of the fishing line pretty quick. Later, we asked them how often they get these calls and they said on average several times a day on the weekends. This is above and beyond the other millions of things they have to get done at the large park each day with tourists, campers and fishermen filling the park.
Big thanks go out to Billy and Kathy and all of the park rangers at Fort Desoto!