Think before releasing balloons: Osprey tangled 35-feet up rescued at Shore

Osprey chick

FRANK KUMMER / PHILLY.COM – Ben Wurst was at a meeting on Sedge Island, just off Island Beach Park on Barnegat Bay, on Tuesday when a coworker walked in and said a young osprey was ensnared in a ribbon that was attached to a balloon.

Soon, Wurst would find himself 35 feet in the air trying to save the bird.

Wurst, habitat program manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, knew this was not unusual at a time of year when balloons are released for graduations and other outdoor celebrations. The balloons drift over land before eventually popping and landing in the ocean or marshes …

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