An injured and dehydrated seagull on the verge of death was recently saved with celebrity help.
The gull was spotted near Wickapogue in Southampton Village on Nov. 18, wrapped up in fishing line with the hook still attached, explained Virginia Frati, the executive director of the in Hampton Bays. After the spotter called the rescue center, the center called upon model and actress Beth Stern, who has a home in the area. "She’s actually trained in rescuing wildlife," Frati said. "She took one of our training classes.”
After a successful rescue-transport by Stern, the bird spent 10 days at the rescue center being rehabilitated. The fishing line "was all wrapped around his beak, his wings, his legs,” Frati said. “The blood supply was compromised in one of his legs."
Based on the level of dehydration, the bird was likely caught in the fishing line for two days, Frati said.
When it came time to release the seagull back into the wild, the rescue center called on Stern again. Her husband, Howard Stern, shot a video of the seagull at the rescue center and of Stern releasing the seagull.
Frati said birds often get caught in fishing line. Sometimes, they are caught in discarded line, but more frequently it happens when a bird swoops in to snag a fish a fisherman is reeling in, she said.
"We have three whole shadow boxes of fishing line and fishing hooks we’ve removes from animals," Frati said. "It doesn't break away. It just stays in the environment forever.”