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Entangled Raven - A New Rescuer's Account

Talk about a baptism of fire for a new rescuer!!! Raven entangled in tree


The raven as pictured was trapped in the tree by its leg. The height of the tree was approximately 12m and it was trapped almost at the very top. There was no way to safely climb the tree nor were there any ladders available close by that would be able to safely reach it either. Eventually the fire brigade assisted with a Teleboom from Thomastown after a Commander of theirs came out to assess the situation.


Whilst I was waiting for the fire brigade to arrive, I was watching the raven and it was quite distressed. It was basically hanging upside down by its leg. Occasionally there was another raven flying food to it to try and help it survive as well as scaring off any other birds that came nearby. I was amazed at that alone and how even animals work like humans in times of crisis.


Eventually the Teleboom was in position and one of the Firefighters was ascending the ladder. I gave him a towel to use to cover the bird during the rescue to help alleviate any more stress on the bird. It was agreed that he would break the branch that was holding the bird captive and bring the bird down "as is".


       MFB Assistance    MFB Assistance

The bird had some sort of nylon fibre similar to fishing line entwined around its talon and that had snagged on the tree branch. Unfortunately the bird was well and truly stuck and it was evident that it had been stuck for a while as a joint in its leg had separated and it was literally hanging by a tendon or muscle. Kind of like if you can imagine the lower half of your leg separated from the upper half at the knee.


Cameron ready to head to the vet

With the help of another firefighter, the tree branch and nylon material were separated from the bird. The bird was then wrapped in a towel and transported to a local vet clinic in Broadmeadows. Upon arrival, I was taken straight through to the treatment room by the vet where it was discussed with the vet about the injuries and possible treatment. It was decided that the best and only option was for euthanasia as the injuries were too great to be able to treat and have a 100% chance of rehabilitation. I held the bird in its final moments whilst it was put to sleep.


The vet was very welcoming in me bringing the bird in and I enquired about whether he is happy to treat animals brought in by Wildlife Volunteers and he was. He said he didn't get a great chance to work with wildlife too often but would be happy to help in the future if the situation may warrant it.


The photo of me with a lei around my neck was taken by the caller. She is of Polynesian descent and said it was traditional to be thanked for all I did in this way. I didn't expect that. Everyone from the fire brigade received one too.


By Cameron Bailey, Wildlife Victoria Rescue Volunteer.


A lei as a thank you from the caller