Editorial for 26 March: Injuring wildlife just plain wrong

What distressing news to come from the Department of
Environment Friday.

The brown pelican that many of us grew accustomed to seeing
perched on a CUC light pole along the East-West Arterial on our daily commute
out George Town was found washed ashore at Frank Sound.

As you can see from our Page 1 story, the poor animal had
been so badly beaten that the bones in one of its wings had been crushed.

Now we learn from members of the public that two fishermen
were seen smacking the defenceless bird with a boat oar, presumably because it
was after bait or lures. Shame on them.

Dealing with seabirds is just a fact of life when fishing.
It’s something you take into account and the answer to dealing with the birds
isn’t to beat them senseless and break their bones.

If a seabird is accidentally hooked while fishing, the
Florida Department of Wildlife has the following tips:

Don’t cut the line. Bring the bird in slowly.

If necessary, use a landing net to carefully lift the bird
from the water.

Grasp the bird’s bill and restrain the bird with wings
folded against its body.

Wrap the bird in a towel or large cloth (be careful not to
restrict the bird’s breathing).

Find the hook and push the barb to outside of skin. Cut the
barb, then back the hook out. (Never pull a hook out without first removing the
barbs.)

Remove all fishing line. (Remember to properly dispose of
fishing line.)

If a bird has swallowed the hook or is seriously injured,
take it to a veterinarian.

To release, place the bird gently in the water or on the
ground near the water.

Do not release a bird that appears weak, ill or injured.

It’s a shame that Cayman Wildlife Rescue had to close its
doors last year due to lack of funding. The Department of Environment is taking
donations to help in cases of injured wildlife and we implore all who can to
give.

It is a sad remark on our society when people abuse and maim
innocent wildlife.

 

 

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