DEBARY, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Some DeBary residents called for help, Saturday, after noticing a Sandhill crane had something wrapped around its beak.
"The whole neighborhood came. There was cars that were stopping. We were trying to catch this bird," said Brooke McKendrick, whose dad noticed the crane.
She says no one could get close enough so they called in the experts.
Tom Scotti, from Ahopha Wildlife Rescue in Volusia County, responded in minutes.
In cellphone video, you can see he uses a net to catch the young bird.
He then puts a sock around its head. That's when he finally got a good look at the beak.
"Turned out it was a piece of silicone or rubber of some sort," Scotti said. "It was clamped shut. I couldn't have pried beak apart with that piece of rubber on there."
He says taking it off the bird was a matter of life and death.
"He would have eventually starved to death or gotten weak enough to where he would be eaten by something else," he said.
Scotti says he gets these kinds of calls all the time. He sent us photo after photo of birds with beaks snarled in trash left behind by people.
"Think about it, how many times have you seen a piece of plastic like that on the ground and never think twice? Look what it can do to an animal," McKendrick said.
The piece of rubber left a mark on the crane's beak, but Scotti says it didn't have any permanent damage.
The Sandhill crane was immediately released.