In August 2017, a man went fishing out in Bourne, Massachusetts. It wasn’t a particularly eventful day until he spotted something off in the distance.
“I’m trying to catch stripers and then I see a cormorant with a fishing line stuck in its mouth,” he said on video. “It looks like he ate someone’s bait and got hooked. I’m gonna save his life.”
Cormorants are water fowl with a propensity for eating lots of fish. The man wasn’t a huge fan of cormorants for that reason but, even still, he knew that helping out was the right thing to do.
“If you look at him, you can see that he’s definitely very stressed, hurt,” he said. “…this is gonna be hard to do.”
He wasn’t sure exactly where the line was coming from but could tell that it was somewhere between the rocks. Using his own fishing rod, he hooked onto the line and pulled forward. As he was doing this, another man came walking by.
The man performing the rescue asked the passerby to hold his rod for him as he reeled the bird the rest of the way to shore by hand. From there, he grabbed a pair of scissors from his pocket, attempting to cut the line.
The bird was clearly agitated and confused. It tilted its head every which way as it was stuck to the line and tried chewing on its rescuer’s scissors. Yet, by holding the birds head and cutting down, he was able to remove the line from its mouth.
The man then tossed the bird into the air and it flew off.
“Oh yeah! Freedom!” he yelled.