The need to dispose of rubbish carefully has been highlighted recently with a young bird hanging for several hours entangled in twine.
Even small pieces of rubbish can cause untold suffering, according to WIRES – this juvenile magpie had its leg entangled in twine and wire which then became snared in a branch high in a tree in Casino. In its panic to escape, the young bird ended up helplessly hanging upside down, flapping desperately.
The poor maggie hung suspended by one leg for at least 18 hours until a solution could be found. All the while a distressed adult magpie was worriedly keeping a close eye on the fledgling. WIRES bird specialist, Melanie, had grave fears that the magpie would suffer severe injuries to its leg.
The magpie was approximately two stories high in the tree, way too high to reach. After cherry picker options proved unavailable, WIRES made contact with Alistair from the RSPCA, who fortunately came to the rescue.
As a licensed shooter, Alistair carefully assessed the situation and decided it might be possible to bring down both the branch and the bird with a shot. It took incredible skill and three shots to get through the branch, before both the limb and magpie tumbled to the ground.
There was a moment of panic when the magpie became free while still attached to the rubbish and flew off, but it was caught again by Melanie.
Elizabeth at Central Vet Care Clinic, Casino, conducted an examination and fortunately there were no fractures to the magpie’s leg. It appeared to have a normal range of movement, despite being extremely sore.
After receiving some subcutaneous fluids to rehydrate, the magpie is now slowly recovering in WIRES care.
Where there is a will there is a way, and rescues such as this illustrate how important collaboration is in solving complicated rescue situations.
They also illustrate just how important it is to dispose of rubbish thoughtfully.
If you are keen to make a difference for the wildlife in our area, consider joining WIRES. Now is a great time to join since their next workshop will be held in Lismore on February 23, and there is time beforehand to complete the online part of the course.
The WIRES 24-hour hotline is for all rescue, advice or membership calls in the Northern Rivers – call 6628 1898 or go to http://wiresnr.org/Helping.html to find out how you can help.