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From a distance, the owl looked dead.
He was hanging, lifeless, above the surging Alouette River, where it whirled into Davison’s Pool with his wings spread out limp.
As Lilly Dickson peered through the pelting rain on Friday, she spotted a man in the branches above the bird.
When Dickson looked closer, she realized the raptor was tangled in fishing line.
“It was unbelievable,” she says. “He was exhausted. His feet were all wrapped up. He probably tried to fly and ended up getting more caught.”
Luckily, a rescue was already underway when Dickson spotted the owl.
A tree climber from B.C. Plant Health Care cut branches to lower the owl into the net of a volunteer from the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Delta.
The volunteer bundled the owl in a blanket and drove it to the rehabilitation centre, where he remains.
Rob Hope, the head bird supervisor, reports the mature owl is doing “remarkably” well.
Staff at the centre cut 60 grams of fishing gear – five lures, 20 yards of line and a bobber – off the bird, who weighs 760 grams.
Hope recommends fishermen who get their lines caught in trees should try to get most of it back, if possible.
The owl, older than two years, should be released within a few weeks.