I was on holiday with my family in Hawaii in 1999 and one day on the beach I saw a bird about as big as a starling with its feet completely entangled in fishing wire. The poor bird could barely fly and was unable to walk very fast. After watching it for a few minutes I decided to try and help. So I managed to catch the bird and tried to untangle the line from its feet. The line was too much tied around as the poor bird must have had this problem for a long time trying to unravel itself. The only way I could get the line off was to use a knife which I did not have. Spotting a Hawaiin policeman all kitted up by the seafront I walked over to him and asked if he had a knife I could borrow. When he saw the poor bird he smiled and willingly lent me his knife. After a delicate few minutes I seemed to get the sense that the bird knew I was trying to help it and it relaxed and was calm in my hand.

I have often seen this in animals and birds who, when in distress or pain, seem to know when someone is trying to help. They seem to just relax and stop struggling (this is not always the case I might add!!!) but this time case I was very glad as inevitably the knife had to cut the line very close to the birdís legs. My wife helped me by taking away the loose ends. Altogether there must have been 10-15 yards of line altogether. Eventually the legs became free again and I saw there were some gouges in the sides of the legs but no sign of infection. The bird was very happy and flew off free at last. The policeman was watching the operation and probably could not believe seeing a mad Englishman helping a small sea bird in trouble.