Goose death shows importance of recycling fishing line - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Goose death shows importance of recycling fishing line

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Fishing line is essential for fishers but when not thrown away, it can have a deadly impact on other wildlife.

Last week, a Canada Goose was found in Iowa City badly injured and was taken in by the RARE Group. The group stands for Raptor Advocacy Rehabilitation and Education. They take in injured birds from all over Eastern Iowa and rehabilitate them.

It was discovered that the goose had fishing line wrapped tightly around both of its legs and feet, so tight that circulation had been cut off. It could no longer walk and its feet started to deteriorate. 

RARE volunteer Jodeane Cancilla said they've helped other animals wrapped in fishing line but that this was the worst case they've ever seen.

"It had been on there so long that it had gone right down to the bone. The skin had actually tried to grow back over it because it wasn't going to break and because the bird lost the feeling in the feet, it wasn't able to walk and it just kind of sort of used its wings and flew and drug the feet," Cancilla said.

The goose was dragging its feet so badly that its left flipper ripped off to its joints.

"He wasn't able to get into the water to swim, was not able to get food, and so it was a very slow, painful death," she said.

Cancilla said that animals struggle to get the fishing line off causing it tighten more and because lines are so strong and need to be cut off that animals often can't get it off themselves.

Prior to this incident, the city of Iowa City had been working on installing fishing line recyclables. They announced on Wednesday that they installed six bins at area boating ramps that encourage fishers to "reel in and recycle". The city felt the bins were necessary not only to help protect wildlife but said lines can get caught in boat motors and in the way of other fishers.

Cancilla said she was happy that the city did that and hopes people will take advantage of them by using them. She said she encourages anyone who sees fishing line left out to pick it up and recycle it.

"It's very frustrating because it's an easy thing at least I assume it's an easy thing to pick it up and dispose of it correctly," she said.

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