70 years of helping people to care for our ocean

Fishing line removed from White Throated Cormorant’s left wing

By Ann Kunz

On the 8th February after spending a few hours in the care of SAAMBR Animal Health staff, a White Throated Cormorant was taken to a local Durban beach and released.

A local car guard had seen the cormorant earlier in the day in Mahatma Gandhi Road with a fishing hook and line wrapped around its left wing. Even though the hook and line had not caused any permanent damage, the bird was unable to fly due to the restriction caused by the tangled line.

The Durban Metro Search and Rescue were alerted and managed to successfully catch the cormorant and safely transport her to uShaka Sea World.

Once she had settled down in the clinic, we removed the fishing line from her wing, checked her overall physical condition before administering fluids and leaving her to rest for a few hours. Prior to her release we a took radiographs to ensure that she had not ingested a fishing hook in an attempt to free herself.

As she passed her health checks and was strong and feisty, she was taken to the beach and released. As expected, once the crate was opened, she took off and flew into the distance without a second glance.

The video is now up on our YouTube channel