Loon Rescue

My friend Mike Ritcey received a phone call from the animal hospital at the Kamloops Wildlife Park asking if he could go out and have a look for a loon at Lac le Jeune. It had been reported to them that the loon had become entangled in fishing line and was not doing that well. Mike needed someone with a boat so he called me and off we went. We quickly located the loon on the shore and she (best guess) was quite entangled, obviously not able to fish or eat. We netted her and into a dog crate for the trip to the animal hospital. At this point Mike, who is a SAR dog handler,was called for a search and was off to the airport with his dog.
I took the loon to the hospital where the fishing line was removed and a tube feeding was administered. A blood test revealed the loon to be somewhat anemic from not eating but a determination was made that she would do better back at the lake than in the hospital. Back I went to the lake where my loon and I went for a short boat ride to find a quiet place for the release. I got her out of the crate and she sat quietly for a while. I didn't want to leave her on the shore where she was vulnerable to predators so to ensure she was able to get into the water and swim I coaxed her into the water. She seemed to do much better once back in the water and began to preen and also scan under the water for food. I stayed with her for a short while and was very happy to see both her mate and chick join her.

The capture

Treatment at the Animal Hospital
The release
Reunited !!