Neighbors help save sandhill crane with plastic wrapped around beak

Posted: 9:08 PM, Jun 04, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-05 03:20:25Z
Sandhill crane with plastic around beak saved
Sandhill crane with plastic around beak saved
Sandhill crane with plastic around beak saved
Sandhill crane with plastic around beak saved

Neighbors in Pewaukee helped rescue a Sandhill Crane that had plastic wrapped around its beak after a local wildlife center put out a call for help. 

The Wildlife In Need Center  started receiving calls about the crane over Memorial Day weekend. A couple noticed the crane appeared to have something keeping its beak shut. 

Volunteers and staff at the center tried unsuccessfully for a few days to trap the bird, but it kept flying away. 

Then on Monday morning, Alexis Riches says she saw the two cranes in her driveway. 

"They're here pretty much every day," she said. "I saw her, I’m like 'oh my goodness, that’s her.'" 

Riches called the Wildlife in Need Center after seeing a post on Facebook about the crane and then she managed to trap the bird in her screened in garage, using bird feed. 

"Clearly she was a little nervous about what was going on but she seemed to know that we were there to help her," said Riches. 

Mandy Feavel from the Wildlife In Need Center drove over to the Riches' home and managed to get the plastic off the bird's beak. 

"It ended up being just the soft end of an earbud trapped around her beak," she said. "I knew she'd be very thin and she was, so she was definitely dehydrated, she was very underweight." 

Rather than take the bird back to their center, Feavel says she felt it was better if the crane rejoined her mate as soon as possible. 

"She started opening her beak right away and trying to vocalize with her mate so that was a real relief and cool to see," said Feavel. 

She also said Riches did everything right and encourages the public to call them if they see native animals in distress or injured. They also have information on their website to help guide you in that kind of situation. 

Feavel says to pay attention to plastic items thrown in the garbage, and cut rings or other items that could trap wildlife.