Seagull rescue comes off without a hitch

Publish Date : 03 May 2016
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Kim with the rescued seagull.
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Kim helping the seagull with the bystander who pulled the seagull out of the water and the policeman.
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The seagull free of fishing line and off to the NZ Bird Rescue team.
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The seagull getting untangled.

It was a quiet day. Kim Clarke, a swimming pool inspector with the Building Control department, was going about her usual work day when she got the call.

Her colleague Neil Sharma, also a swimming pool inspector, needed assistance. He had come across a seagull which had become tangled in fishing line and trapped in the water near the end of a wharf at Sunkist Beach. With neither Animal Management or the SPCA available, Kim hurried to assist.

Upon her arrival Kim saw the distressed seagull just out of reach off the end of the wharf. As she didn't have a change of clothes, she asked a couple swimming nearby for help in getting the seagull out of the water. Neil had also waved down a passing policeman who kindly offered his help.

Armed with a knife lent to them by the policeman, one of the bystanders waded out into the ocean towards the seagull and managed to cut it loose.

"I grabbed the seagull from the helpful bystander once he was back at the wharf. The seagull was still quite tangled in the fishing line so I proceeded to carefully untangle him. He was not overly impressed with his situation and clung tightly onto my finger."

Having untangled the fishing line, Kim saw the seagull's wings were quite wounded so she wrapped him in her jacket and took him to be nursed back to health with the team at New Zealand Bird Rescue.

Following their most unusual work day, Neil and Kim's are happy to report the seagull has made a full recovery and was released a couple of weeks after his ordeal in the sea.

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