Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lucky Loon Sought out Alberta Campers to Save It from Fishing Gear

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lucky Loon Sought out Alberta Campers to Save It from Fishing Gear

Article excerpt

Lucky loon sought rescue from Alberta campers

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NORDEGG, Alta. - This is a story about one lucky loon.

Don Gibson was standing with his family on a dock in Fish Lake Provincial Park in west-central Alberta last weekend when he noticed a normally standoffish loon -- one of a group of five that call the lake home -- swimming toward them.

"I said, 'There's no way that's a real loon because they don't come that close,'" Gibson recalled Friday from his home in Sundre, northwest of Calgary.

"I said, 'Somebody's out in the woods playing a trick on us. They've got a remote-control bird or something.'"

But as the loon got closer, Gibson could tell it needed help.

A piece of fishing gear with wire leaders and multiple hooks, often referred to as a pickerel rig, had become tangled around the bird's bill, neck and leg.

Loons are sleek and rely on their diving ability to catch fish, frogs and other water creatures. Seeing the way this one was tangled, it was clear to Gibson that it couldn't hunt.

The bird kept looking up at the campers on the dock and moved to a shallow area along the shore.

"This one just knew he only had another day and he was going to die. He was just right pooped I think."

Gibson turned to his 12-year-old son.

"I said, 'We've got to go over there. …

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