Entanglement is not only a threat for raptors, but for all wildlife.
Unfortunately, it can be a common occurrence for wildlife to accidentally become entangled in manmade materials. When an animal becomes entangled, it can be a death sentence. They often twist and turn as they try to free themselves, which further increases pressure on the limb. This can result in the loss of the blood supply to the extremity, which requires medical intervention to treat. Unfortunately, if they are not found, entanglement can result in the animal’s death.
Two of the most common forms of entanglement we see here at OWL are from barbed wire fencing and discarded fishing line. If you find an animal stuck in a fence or other materials, please call your local wildlife rehabilitator. Do not try to remove the animal unless you have been instructed to do so. Improper removal can cause further injury to the animal and make it a harder road to recovery. It is important to have any entangled animal examined by a professional and treated as soon as possible to ensure there are no serious or permanent injuries.
A Barn Owl that was found caught in fishing line.
It’s not just barbed wire fencing and fishing line that affect our wildlife. Listed below are some other types of materials we have rescued raptors from. These include:
- Wind chimes
- Sports nets such as for soccer and volleyball
- Fake Hallowe’en spiderwebs
- Netting placed over ponds and chicken yards
- Kite strings
- Safety nets at golf courses
- Frisbee golf net line hanging from a tree
- Ribbons from released balloons.
How You Can Help
To prevent these kinds of injuries to wildlife, there are many things we can do. A couple examples are switching our fencing to animal friendly materials and making a greater effort to remove discarded and broken fishing line.
A Barred Owl caught on barbed wire fencing.
Two fishing hooks pulled from a baby Bald Eagle.
A Longeared Owl caught in kite string.