Back in mid October, we let you know about an injured loon that was captured in North Bay by Loon Biologist Eric Hanson from the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE) and was brought to Vermont Institute of Natural Science Center (VINS) in Quechee, VT.
The loon had been caught up in fishing line, and the hooks from a large lure had punctured her feet.
Later that evening, Eric sent us an update. He explained that he met the lead rehab person at VINS and they were able to remove the line and all of the hooks that had hooked into its feet. Unfortunately, it was determined that the loon has a broken toe, and infection is a concern. Eric noted that if the loon was able to elude the Wardens while impaired, it may be strong enough to survive at 90% at the ocean this winter.
A week later, we heard from Eric that he took the loon to Avian Haven in Maine for surgery on her feet. The surgery was performed, and Eric provided the following update from the folks at Avian Haven:
"We put her in the pool for about a half hour first thing this morning; she promptly swam underwater laps, seemingly with the same ease as previously. So far, so good!"
Eric noted that parts of 2 of her toes and some webbing had to be removed during the surgery (you can see in the photo below). Even if she can swim at 70-80%, she may be OK to release. If so, she'll receive a USFWS band. But, they'll need to see how the following week would play out for her.
We've just received a new update from Eric, and he's told us that the loon in now healthy enough to release! She will be banded and released next week.
Finally, Eric noted that this is a good educational opportunity to spread the word to reel in when loons are nearby.
Thank you to everyone involved to help give this loon a chance.
If you'd like to support Eric and the VCE for their outstanding efforts efforts, you can:
-Donate to the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE): https://vtecostudies.org/give/, or
- Purchase one of their Vermont Loon Conservation Project shirts, which you can see here: https://www.bonfire.com/vermont-loon-conservation-project/