Quick Rescue: Brave Men Freed Pelicans Caught up in Stray Fishing Lines

April 6, 2019 Updated: April 7, 2019

Ready for some heart-warming animal rescues? When these two pelicans were trapped in fishing line, these men stepped in to save them.

In the first video the tourists crowd around the magnificent birds to take pictures of them standing on the pier, when someone notices that this bird can’t open its beak. The pelican has fishing wire with the weight still attached wound around its beak tightly. The bird can easily fly away, so when one man decides to save the bird, he has to take it by surprise.

He grabs the bird quickly by the legs and holds it on the floor. Carefully, he holds its neck and straddles it, tucking the wings safely between his legs. He holds the bird’s head still as another good Samaritan comes forward with a pocket knife and the two work quickly to cut the bird free.

As the fishing line falls away they hold the beak open and check for hooks. “Oh thank God, you guys!” a woman watching gasps as they step back. The bird takes one hop and then flies to freedom!

In the second video a fisherman spots a pelican caught in the mangroves, stops his boat and wades out to help it. The pelican is terrified and snaps out viciously. “I’m here to help, buddy,” he says, holding out a towel to use to hold the bird’s beak shut. It takes a few heart-stopping moments, but he catches the bird.

The pelican thrashes, but the fisherman holds tight and uses large clippers to cut at the fishing line and mangroves trapping the bird. “It’s such a heavy line,” he says. He pulls the bird out of the mangroves and slowly cuts the rest of the line away as the bird flaps and struggles.

“I’m soaked now,” he laughs, “there’s no hooks in him, he’s just tangled up. One more.” He cuts the final wire and the bird rips away from him. The fisherman whoops and the surprised pelican can swim home!

I think we can all aspire to be more like these good Samaritans putting their fingers at risk to free these birds!

Watch the video for tips on your next bird rescue! (Or just to smile as the birds fly and swim away to freedom!)