VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A Sandhill Crane was in distress on Saturday after it had a plastic ring tightly wrapped around its beak. However, a DeBary resident called for help and Ahopha Wildlife Rescue was there to save the bird.
"It was very tight on the beak. The bird could not open its mouth," said Tom Scotti, founder of Ahopha Wildlife Rescue.
The rescue was captured on cellphone video that's been viewed more than 12,000 times. Scotti also snapped pictures of the plastic that showed how the ring left an indentation. He said it's one of two Sandhill Crane rescues that occured. The second rescued bird had a weed cloth stuck to its beak.
"We're seeing more and more cases of not only Sandhill Cranes but many other birds," said Scotti.
"They try to pick it up, it gets caught on their beak and as they try to feed, it just gets pushed further and further back on their beak and they don't have the coordination to get it off themselves."
Scotti blames people who litter the streets and ponds instead of throwing trash away. He showed News 6 an Osprey from St. John's County that's now recovering at the DeLand Animal Hospital.
"His leg was about six times that size. He had a fishing line embedded all the way down to the bone," he said.
Dr. Paige Garrett, a veterinarian at DeLand Animal Hospital, said it's important for people to be vigilant and call for help immediately.
"A lot of them, by the time we do get them here, we're not able to help them because they're too far gone," she said.
"That's where it all begins. These animals wouldn't get the help they need if it weren't for that," said Scotti.