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Gull rescued by police in canoe
HAVE you heard the one about the wildlife worker, three police dog handlers, a bird and a canoe?
A dramatic rescue operation unfolded this week to save a herring gull caught in a fishing line out on a lake near a Bridgwater industrial estate.
‘Gilbert’, as the gull has been Christened by his rescuers, was spotted by a team of police dog handlers in the early hours on Monday, who called Secret World Wildlife Rescue worker Mervyn Gratton.
Mervyn, 30, told the Weekly News: “I tried to reach the helpless bird but the water was so deep it came over my waders and soaked me to the waist before I could get close enough.
“Luckily one of the police dog handlers found an old canoe in a skip, tied his dog harness to it as a safety line, paddled out by torchlight and managed to fee the gull.
“It was a real team effort and I was truly impressed by the resourceful initiative taken by the dog handlers.”
Chief Inspector Paul Mogg, from the police Operations Support department, said: “Varied as this job is, this will no doubt go down as one of the more unusual rescues the dog handlers have been involved in.
“While they’re more used to skilfully tracking down criminals or missing people, it shows the quick thinking and resourcefulness they have.
“It was lucky they were training in the area at the time and was a happy ending all round.”
Mervyn took Gilbert back to Secret World in East Huntspill, where he was checked out and found to be none the worse for his ordeal. He has now been released.