Double-Crested Cormorant Survives Two Fishing Hooks

double-crested cormorant release double-crested cormorant being syringe-fed double-crested cormorant in cageThe following story was shared with us by the Wetlands And Wildlife Care Center of California.

On December 17, 2019, Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center admitted a double-crested cormorant with a fishing hook through the lower bill. Upon intake, we did an immediate X-ray, which showed a second hook in the throat area. With the hook in the esophagus, any tube feeding can complicate the treatment and endanger the patient.

First, we removed the hook from the mandible, then we gave IV fluids and contacted the veterinarian who would perform the surgery as soon as possible. The next day, during the surgery, we found that the hook had not only penetrated the esophagus but also created a huge tear that needed to be sutured. When this occurs, the survival rate drops significantly. But this cormorant had some serious fight in him!

We used the softest tubes we had to feed him EmerAid Intensive Care Piscivore for a week before we offered whole foods. After a week, he was ready for whole fish!

He continued to eat heartily until he was ready for release with another double-crested cormorant he had bonded to while in captivity.