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Friday, December 11, 2009

The Rescue of the Loon



This will become my new Christmas tale to tell grandchildren if I am ever blessed to have any. On Sunday evening my son noticed an otter under out bridge so he went to investigate and thought he saw a loon scoot under the ice. We thought there was no way that was possible...and we had been having -20 degrees at night. Well the next morning I had to go look and sure enough there was an immature loon. He could swim and get under the ice so was not catchable but I knew at some point he would become weak...as they winter in the Gulf. He could not take this cold. He would not be able to fly out as they have to have I believe over 100 feet of open water to do that. I asked for help from the DNR and everyone I could think of but everyone said it was dangerous and let nature take it's course...well no way was I going to do that. I had seen one loon die two days before unnecessarily because no one would rescue it so this one I would save. Yesterday I was surprised he was still alive.at 8 in the morning after the 3rd night of -20 and more degrees...he was still swimming at 10 and at noon he was froze in...so I called my husband and said I was going in...I knew hypotherma was going to be a problem so my local police officer stood guard...I was ready to go in when my husband appeared with waders and he went in...with a hammer he broke him lose and we got him up on the ice and into a net. At 5 he was flown to Minneapolis and at 7 he was seen by a loon rescue vet. He had xrays this morning and I will hear the complete results this afternoon but it appears he is quite healthy. He might be flown then to the Gulf where he should be. That is where they remain for a year until they aquire their beautiful black and white plummage. I will show you the picture of him frozen and one of my husband as he entered the water...then the camera had to be in my pocket so I could help...wish we could have had a video! So needless to say I did not paint! I will get to it...I am getting close to done and the painting I did for a friend will be posted after   Christmas when she opens it...and I have a drawing ready to go so hopefully things will go more smoothly here soon!!!

7 comments:

Judith Angell Meyer said...

What an amazing Christmas story! Bless you and your husband for going to the trouble of saving one of God's special creatures. The pictures are great. I can picture the whole rescue.

Billie Crain said...

I love stories like this. So glad it had a happy ending.:) That darn DNR...they're useless in these cases, aren't they?}:( I know...I've called them for help myself and got the same answer.

Jane Freeman said...

I have been waiting for final updates from the Rescue center but it has had xrays etc and it appears it is a perfectly healthy loon...so why did it not fly south with the others? I think because one parent loon here did not fly...it was old...wonder if they never learned to fly because no one was able to teach them?? The other sibling died on Saturday when the lake froze. It could not fly either.

Jan Pope said...

You've got good karma coming your way. You have helped out Mother Nature and she won't forget.

Mary Jansen said...

You are my hero Janie!

Phyl said...

Janie! Thank you so much for the wonderful story and pictures. Some of the neighborhood kids came over to see the pictures and I told them the story. They really loved it, just like I did!

JEANNE ILLENYE said...

What a story!!! WoW! And to think that no one wanted to help...so often I've heard that when I see an animal in danger. It takes fierce determination to help them and they so deserve it! Congratulations on a job well done!