A word to the wise about discarding trash

If summer ever returns, the Historic City news desk will no doubt get at least one report of a sea turtle caught in discarded plastic rings thrown into the water by a thoughtless fisherman, or some other animal whose had an unfortunate run in with litter that was not put in its proper place.

Today, however, it was a wise old owl who had given up on ways to free itself from a twisted fishing line. The bird was found perched high in a pine tree near Turnbull Creek; with the wire caught in its talons and looped around its face, beak, and wings.

St Johns County Fire Rescue Engine 16 responded to the scene this morning to attempt to rescue the bird from its otherwise inaccessible location.

Firefighter Chris Naff, protected in full turn-out gear and heavy gloves, safely removed the owl from the tree and freed it from the tangled line.

“The owl was safely transferred to the care of Animal Control,” Lt. Jeremy Robshaw reported. “As always, Special Operations can mean many things for First Responders and we try our best to always be prepared and ready for the challenge.”

Carelessness with human litter, especially on our beaches, riverways and many outdoor trails, can quickly become the deathtrap that kills another animal. Use designated trash receptacles, where provided, or collect your litter and take it with you to your next stop.

Assisting Naff were Firefighter Lance Robinson and Captain Marc Grabert, shown. Good job, well done. Photos contributed by St Johns County Fire Rescue.

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