A Tofino tugboat Captain braved waves and a storm, to save a crow that rescuers have now named “Peggy.”
“She’s a trooper and a fighter,” said North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre animal care worker Megan Buemann.
The small bird with one leg has come a long way, thanks to Derek Fraser.
“She was just struggling and she looked like she might have a chance so,” said Fraser, who is a tugboat captain.
Fraser was 14 nautical miles from Tofino, in a late November windstorm, when he found the badly injured young bird — trapped in rigging on a remote barge after her foot got stuck.
“It was really cold that morning. It was blowing probably 55 knots southeast and windy and raining,” recalled Fraser.
He says managed to free the bird by carefully using tools to move the rigging — collecting the crow whose leg was dangling from her body, and brought her into his tug.
“He saw her out there, got her out … fed her some cat food, kept her nice and warm,” said Buemann.
Then together the two navigated through the rough waters of the storm until Fraser could reach Tofino’s harbour.
“Worked out okay apparently,” Fraser said smiling.
Worked out it did.
Now back to health and finding her balance on one foot, the bird — named Peggy because of her little peg leg — was fit to be released into the wild crows around the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre.
Fraser paid her a visit Monday — looking up into the trees for that telltale hop on a single leg, that experts say she will easily survive here.
“Ever since I took her from Bedwell Sound, I’m pretty sure the same flock of crows has visited my tugboat every time I go by.”