Anni Rein was walking on Seabright Beach in November 2013 and saw something strange in the tide line. It was a seagull that had just washed ashore and was right where the sea met the beach. It wasn’t swimming or flying, it was floating.
The bird couldn't move its feet, mouth or wings. Seeing the bird in distress, Anni approached the bird and noticed that the bird was tangled in fishing line. Anni didn't have a knife or scissors, so she asked around for something to get it off. A man came to help her and said he would get the number for Native Animal Rescue. He ran up to Save Our Shores sign at the entrance of the beach, got the number and called for help.
With the animal rescue's advice, they carefully picked up the bird and cut off the fishing line with a car key. Then got all the line off released bird, they stayed and watched if it would fly.
"You could see the bird had been harmed by this fishing line for a while, once it was off, it slowly stretched it's wings and was very wobbly and confused on it's feet trying to walk away." said Anni.
The bird didn't make it very far and didn't look in good health. They decided to take the advice from the Native Animal Rescue and capture the bird to bring it in. With a towel to cover the bird and a cardboard box to transport it, the man took the bird to the rehab center.
Anni never got the name of the man who helped her rescue the bird. Mysteriously, just a few weeks ago, she saw the man walking his dog at the exact same place they had met back in November. Excited, she asked what happened to the bird. The man said he took bird to animal rescue and they said it would have a good chance of recovering.
This story had a very happy ending, but many birds don't have the same fate. Birds are being found more frequently tangled in fishing line in Santa Cruz and Monterey. This is a good reminder to fishermen to collect fishing line and not let it go.