Workers use crane to save entangled bird

2008-08-11 00:00

It was all in a day’s work yesterday when a construction company banded together with the SPCA to rescue an egret that had become entangled in string and was found hanging upside down from a tree 20 metres in the air at the bird sanctuary.

Simphiwe Qothelo, an employee of Torce Construction, first spotted the bird.

“We were working in the area and just before we could start work, I spotted the bird hanging upside down from a tree.

“I then informed my co-workers, but it was not easy to reach the bird and we decided to wait for the crane driver,” Qothelo said after the rescue yesterday.

The man, who “cannot bear to see any animal in pain”, said it was his love of animals that moved him into action.

Qothelo was then hoisted up on the arm of the crane and managed to free the bird.

SPCA inspector Daniel Stewart said that after they cut the string from the bird’s legs, it fluttered over the water away from its rescuers and landed on a floating island.

“We wanted to examine the bird, so the crane driver kindly hiked me over the water to fetch it.”

Stewart said he realised how weak the bird was when he was able to grab it straight away. “It didn’t put up a big fight.”

Happily, the egret has suffered no serious injuries “except for a major head rush” and will be fine, said Stewart. He will release it after a 24-hour observation.

“Birds pick up string, nylon, baling twine and fishing line to use in nest building, and that’s when they get tangled up in it,” said Stewart.

Appeal: SPCA man needs a wetsuit

Stewart is appealing for a donation of a wetsuit, to use on jobs where there are no cranes handy.

He takes a medium size and anyone who is able to donate one should contact the SPCA at 033 386 9267.

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