Billy Dean went from country singer to animal savior while vacationing on the Gulf Coast last week. Billy rescued a wild Great Blue Heron, a protected species, from an abandoned fishing line and lures. The bird was trapped in the line, leaving it unable to move with multiple lures lodged in its wings.
Billy had just finished a series of concerts at his farm and was spending some down time with family on the coast. He and his wife Stephanie were walking along Mexico Beach when they saw a group of teenagers in the water, trying to cover the bird with a towel and bring it to shore. Billy waded out to them and despite the bird biting his hands, grabbed it by its feet and carried it to shore.
“The bird was live but had several cuts and was clearly distressed,” Billy said. ”A fisherman must have cut the line but it was hard to determine how long it had been trapped. Though we did get the bird to safety, I did end up with a nice gash on my pickin’ finger. Those Blue Heron bites aren’t pretty.”
Billy gave credit to the high schoolers who tried to rescue the bird. “The girls of Port St. Joe High School and a few other vacationers were the true heroes, but I was fortunate to have been there to help them untangle the bird and bring it to shore,” he said.
Billy and Stephanie called local wildlife management, who took the bird to treat its wounds. It will be returned to the wild once it’s nursed back to health.