Reddish Egret Rescued From Entanglement in Monofilament

provided by CROW

Monofilament fishing line is great for catching fish. However, when fishing tackle and line is entangled in trees at the water’s edge or improperly discarded in the environment, it can catch our wildlife too. Monofilament line can take up to 600 years to decompose, so unless it is removed, it will continue to be a threat to animals for a long time.

For this reddish egret, patient #20-3839, an entanglement in monofilament line nearly cost it’s life. The bird was rescued on August 11 in Fort Myers Beach and admitted to CROW. While struggling to free itself from the line, the bird injured its right wing causing a compound fracture of the humerus and the wing had twisted backwards.

“Normally, an injury like this is difficult to repair, but thanks to the quick action of the rescuers and the freshness of the injury, we are able to perform a surgery to set the wing in place with pins so it can heal properly,” says Dr. Robin Bast, CROW’s staff veterinarian.

The heron underwent surgery on the morning of August 13. A intermedullary (IM) pin and two cross pins were placed in the bone. An external fixation made from a liquid resin that hardens is used to keep the pins and bones in place. The pins will remain in place for three weeks until the fracture site is stable. It will require regular bandage changes and care to keep the site clean and prevent any infection.

“This type of injury can take six weeks or more to fully heal, so it has a long road ahead of it,” continued Bast. “Seeing patients like this beautiful egret admitted with injuries from hook and line entanglement serves as a great reminder of why it is important to always dispose of fishing line and tackle properly rather than leaving it in the environment.”

CROW is part of an initiative called Mind Your Line, a collaborative effort among Sanibel-Captiva conservation organizations to reduce the amount of monofilament line and fishing gear left in the environment. Originally named Clear Your Gear, the effort was established in 2014 by a group of Sanibel-Captiva conservation organizations in response to the observation of ongoing environmental problems and an increase in wildlife injuries caused by monofilament line and other fishing gear.

Other participants include the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), and the City of Sanibel.

THIS WEEK AT CROW (8/5-8/11):
There were 108 new patients admitted to CROW’s Wildlife Hospital including 21 eastern grey squirrels, six eastern cottontails, nine loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings, nine northern raccoons, five red-bellied woodpeckers, three red-shouldered hawks, two double-crested cormorants, a black crowned night heron, and a burrowing owl. Recent Releases include a pine warbler, a Florida box turtle, seventeen Virginia opossums, and nine mottled ducks. Check out a full list of CROW’s current patients and recent releases!

Wildlife doesn’t have health insurance! Your donations help cover the costs of medical and rehabilitative care for over 5,000 patients admitted to CROW’s Wildlife Hospital each year!

Want to learn more about wildlife rehabilitation? Stop by CROW’s Visitor Education Center at 3883 Sanibel Captiva Road. All Florida residents receive 10% off admission with proof of residency throughout the month of September!

About Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)
Established in 1968, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is a teaching hospital saving the sick, injured and orphaned native and migratory wildlife of Southwest Florida and beyond.  Through state-of-the-art veterinary care, public education programs and an engaging visitor center, CROW works to improve the health of the environment, humans and our animals through wildlife medicine. For more information, or to plan your visit, go to If you find an animal that is in need of help, call (239) 472-3644 ext. #222.

Leave a Comment

We are interested in articulate, well-informed remarks that are relevant to the article. We welcome your advice, your criticism and your unique insights into the issues of the day. To be approved for publication, your comments should be civil and avoid name-calling. It may take up to 24 hours for your comment to appear, if it is approved.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.