I’ve been photographing wildlife now for about 15 years, a passion that evolved from my time as a wildlife hospital volunteer. Being hands on with wild animals, under the tutelage of incredible, dedicated wildlife rehabbers, changed almost everything I thought I understood about the wild world. It made so clear how almost every choice we make can have a positive or devastating impact on animals we will never see.
One of the most common issues I encounter, one that shreds my heart, is fishing gear injury or entanglement. I’ve been able to rescue some birds who were debilitated enough to be caught. But many animals evade capture, or require specialized and difficult rescue, as in the case of large marine mammals.
This sea lion has fishing gear piercing the face. The case has been reported, so despite the injury, this particular sea lion stands a chance at rescue. Depending on how deeply it’s embedded, it could possibly dislodge. A gull I attempted to rescue in Seattle who was dragging fishing bobber and filament, managed to free itself from a hook over several days.