SCRANTON, Pa. -- A Great Blue Heron has garnered a lot of attention this week after visitors to a park in Scranton noticed that the heron had a fishing line tangled on its leg.
Two mystery women are now being credited for freeing the heron using some store-bought seafood.
This is the happy ending that officials at McDade Park had been hoping for; it's the circumstances that are a bit unusual. Two women who visited the park Tuesday morning decided to take matters into their own hands and were able to free the bird that's been tangled in fishing line for almost two weeks.
Great Blue Herons are a migratory bird who often spend their summers on the shores of Pennsylvania. This one was a new but welcome visitor to the pond at McDade Park in Scranton.
He was a bright spot in Betty Lowry's daily walks and then a cause of concern for her and many others. Almost two weeks ago, park patrons noticed a fishing line and sinker tangled around the heron's leg.
Officers from the Game Commission and concerned citizens tried their best to get close. Bits of bread weren't working.
It turns out a store-bought piece of salmon did the trick.
Lackawanna County Parks Director Bill Davis says two women used the fish to lure the heron close enough and cut off the fishing line.
"We really didn't know the best approach, and I think these ladies were persistent and got lucky and were able to do it. Glad it had a good outcome," said Davis.
The two women drove away before Davis could get their names but he's hoping they reach back out.
"We do appreciate people who take an interest in the park, and in this case, they did a wonderful job and we're thankful."
With the sinker tied to his leg, the heron could only fly short distances. Now free, the heron's Scranton friends hope he heads south soon.
"We're very happy to hear that he finally got it off," Betty Lowry said. "My husband had the same idea about bringing fish. He said, 'I'll get my scissors and see if he will take the fish, maybe that'll work'. But, somebody beat him to it."
Whoever they are, there's a heron and his growing fan base who are very thankful.
Park officials say they will continue to keep a close eye on the heron but he appears to be uninjured and will likely be heading south in the coming weeks.