Goose Caught in Fishing Line Serves as Reminder to Fishers to Recycle Supplies

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WARNING: Some of the images in the following video may be considered graphic. 

IOWA CITY, Iowa  --  Canada geese are a common sight in much of eastern Iowa, but some fishing gear is putting the birds in danger.

In Iowa City, a goose was found badly injured with fishing line wrapped tightly around its legs and feet, cutting off its circulation, according to KWWL's Jalyn Souchek.

"It had been on there so long that it had gone right down to the bone," said Jodeane Cancilla, a volunteer at the RARE Group (Raptor Advocacy Rehabilitation and Education) that took in the bird. "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."

The bird had to drag its feet so much that one of its flippers actually ripped off.

"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," said Cancilla.

In Iowa City, recycling bins for fishing line have recently been installed along six boating ramps to encourage fishers to reel in and recycle.

"It's not something in their vision lines so they don't see that, and when there's fishing line left tangled in a tree or a bush or along the shoreline, then they fly along there looking for food and they get tangled up in it," said Cancilla.

RARE volunteers like Cancilla hope people will use the recycling bins and help do their part to save the wildlife.

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

Iowa City officials say they added the recycling bins not only to protect wildlife, but also because fishing line can get into boat motors and in the way of other fishers.