Pelican Rescue! Thanks to caring residents and rescuers SWFD firefighters and Alaqua Animal Refuge ?#SWFDNews | FIREFIGHTERS WORK WITH ALAQUA ANIMAL REFUGE TO RESCUE PELICAN TANGLED IN TREE SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. — South Walton Fire District (SWFD) firefight…ers successfully rescued a pelican from a tree on Monday after receiving a call from Alaqua Animal Refuge for assistance around 11:30 a.m. The rescue happened behind a residence on Joy Lane in Santa Rosa Beach. SWFD’s District Chief 2 and Squad 3 firefighters arrived on-scene to find a pelican dangling from a tree branch approximately 25 feet in the air. The pelican’s wing was tangled in the branch with fishing line. To ensure the rescuer’s safety, responding firefighters determined the best course of action was to climb the tree and cut the branch the bird was attached to, and by doing so, the bird would land below in water where personnel could free it from the branch. SWFD Lieutenant Firefighter/Paramedic Chris Powell then climbed the tree using a harness and rope rescue equipment. Powell secured himself to the tree at each point when making cuts to the branches using a reciprocating saw. After approximately 25 minutes of work from responding firefighters, the branch and bird were cut free and fell safely into the water below. Alaqua Animal Refuge personnel entered the water and successfully retrieved the bird by cutting it free from the fishing line. According to Alaqua’s medical evaluation, the pelican did not suffer any fractures, however had soft tissue trauma from a deeply embedded fishing hook in one of its wings. Their staff removed the hook, then cleaned and wrapped the affected area. Alaqua staff report the bird should recover from the incident in approximately a week’s time with the help of antibiotics and pain medication. Alaqua Animal Refuge and SWFD want to remind the public that it is the start of migration season for these birds and many incidents involving wildlife in distress can be avoided by the proper disposal of hooks, lines, and other fishing materials.