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HRA Field Service Team Rescues Drowning Bird Stuck in the Middle of the River

In honor of National Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week, we’re sharing just one story from the more than 20,000 calls for help our officers receive each year. When the animals of the District of Columbia need help, our dedicated professionals are available 24/7 and we’re incredibly thankful for our entire Field Services team and the impact they are making in our community every day. 

On April 9, Humane Rescue Alliance animal control officers received a call from a concerned citizen about a bird in distress in the Potomac River. The bird, a cormorant, was struggling to stay above water, stuck, and unable to fly. When our officers arrived, they found that the bird was not only tangled in fishing line but too far from the shore to reach on foot. Animal Control Officer Ryan Jesien and Humane Law Enforcement Officer Thomas Ingle grabbed a canoe from the nearby boat house and rowed out to the distressed animal.

From the canoe, they were able to securely net and transport the bird back to shore. Together, with Wildlife Specialist Cindy Valasquez and Animal Control Officer Nichole Reel, they worked to untangled the cormorant and transported the bird to City Wildlife for care and continued monitoring.


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