Those that have been following our work since the very early year will likely recall Sandy and Jerry Ulrikson, former volunteers. I’ve kept in touch with both of them over the years and Sandy recently reached out with a request.
Read in Sandy’s own words how this story played out…
As volunteer rescuers, today we received a call from the Wildlife Center of Venice to rescue an injured Sandhill Crane, from a golf course in Sarasota. We were able to rescue the crane and immediately noticed that it was wearing “leg jewelry”.
Having volunteered with Operation Migration on the Whooping Crane reintroduction program for several years, we recognized the “leg jewelry” as something significant. We contacted Heather Ray of Operation Migration for assistance in identifying the bands.
We took the bird to the Wildlife Center of Venice for assessment and treatment because both of its legs were tangled in fishing line. The line had become so tight over a period of time that the circulation had been cut off to the right foot and the foot was “dead” and could not be saved. The right leg had less damaged but overall the prognosis for young crane was not great and sadly it died soon after being admitted for treatment.
As we researched the bands, we found out that the bird was banded by graduate student Jeff Fox at the University of Illinois on July 29, 2012 as part of his master’s degree research program. To prove what a small world it is, Jeff now works with Operation Migration on the Whooping Crane reintroduction program in Wisconsin ~small world.
Another fun day of “retired living” in sunny Florida… Please dispose of used fishing line responsibly to prevent this from happening again.