Gull released back into wild after hook removed from stomach

L to R -Dr Meg Rodgers (Native ARC Vet), Laura Charles (Baker Hughes Technical Specialist), Karen Clarkeson (Rehab CoOrdinator Native ARC) & Ellie Sutherland (BP Environmental Engineer). Photo: Jon Hewson. d493131 communitypix.com.au.
L to R -Dr Meg Rodgers (Native ARC Vet), Laura Charles (Baker Hughes Technical Specialist), Karen Clarkeson (Rehab CoOrdinator Native ARC) & Ellie Sutherland (BP Environmental Engineer). Photo: Jon Hewson. d493131 communitypix.com.au.

BIBRA Lake’s Native Arc is celebrating another job well done after an injured silver gull rescued from Kwinana was released back into the wild on Monday.

Workers from the BP Kwinana Refinery called the not-for-profit organisation after finding the gull tangled in fishing lines, but an examination at Native Arc’s wildlife veterinary hospital found the gull was facing a much more life-threatening problem.

“Our veterinarians undertook a routine physical examination, provided fluids and pain relief and the bird was x-rayed, which is routine for all entanglement patients,” Native Arc manager Dean Huxley said.

“The bird had swallowed a large hook.

“Once the bird was stable it was prepared for surgery which took 90 minutes and involved intubating the bird to maintain it under general anaesthesia, dislodging the hook from its proventriculus (stomach) manually using a small tube and finally removing it through a surgical incision of the oesophagus.”

An x-ray of the gull with a hook inside it. Picture: Native Arc

Mr Huxley said it received three weeks of rest, antibiotics, pain relief and supporting care before it was one of two birds released back into the wild near the refinery on May 13 .

“The bird spent a week in intensive care recovering from surgery where it was monitored by our veterinarians,” he said.

“Once the veterinarians were happy the wound was healed, it was moved to a pre-release waterbird enclosure where we monitored it for two more weeks to ensure it could swim, fly, feed etc.

“(The release) went very well; it could not wait to be free.”

He said it was important for any person who found an injured native animal, waterbird or seabird to call Native Arc.

“It is illegal under the Biodiversity and Conservation Act 2016 for non licensed individuals to look after wildlife,” he said.

“There is a lot of time, money and expertise needed to successfully treat sick and injured wildlife.

“Well meaning members of the public can do more harm than good which often results in a poor outcome for the animal.”

Reports of injured wildlife can be made by calling 9417 7105.