rescue unfolds for stricken gull caught in fishing line
herring gull is lucky to be alive thanks to the amazing rescue
efforts of wildlife worker Mervyn Gratton and three-on-the spot
police dog handlers.
drama unfolded at 2am last Monday when Mervyn, pictured right,
who works for East Huntspill's Secret World Wildlife Rescue, was
called to a lake on an industrial estate at Dunball near Bridgwater.
he found a squad of police dog handlers on a night training exercise
had spotted the gull caught in fishing line and swinging from
a tree out in deep water.
tried to reach the helpless bird but the water was so deep it
came over my waders and soaked me to the waist before I could
get close enough," said Mervyn, who is on an animal care
course at Secret World.
the policeman had managed to find an old pallet and a couple of
cylinders and attempted to lash together a raft but it proved
too unstable," he
one of them found an old canoe in a skip, tied his dog harness
to it as a safety line, paddled out by torchlight and managed
to fee the gull."
then the craft began to fill with water and I just managed to
pull him in before it sank," he said. "It was a real
team effort and I was truly impressed by the resourceful initiative
taken by the dog handlers."
took the gull, nick-named Gilbert, back to Secret World, where
he was checked out and found to be none the worse for his ordeal.
Mervyn then gave him a VIP lift back to the site and released
Pictured: Mervyn with the rescued gull and, above, holding
the hook and line that it got tangled up with. Pics: Adam Gray/SWNS