Our mission of inspiring people and motivating them to care for the natural world extends far beyond the 3,000 animals who call the Phoenix Zoo home. 

Case in point: Recently, our Park Rangers received a call from a scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 7033 who were visiting Papago Park all the way from Flagstaff. They called to let us know that a bird had been caught in a fishing line and became trapped high atop a palm tree near a lake just northeast of the Zoo. 

Park Ranger Matthew Holt immediately ventured out to thank the scoutmaster and troop for doing the right thing and letting us know. Holt then placed a call to our talented and amazing team of bird keepers to assess the situation. 

“When I arrived, the Eurasian collared dove was in a very tough predicament,” said bird keeper and rescuer extraordinaire, Kyle Waites. “It was dangling by fishing line that was wrapped around its foot, and was about 20-feet up in a palm tree. One of our park rangers along with a few of the scouts and scoutmasters helped to brace a ladder while I carefully climbed up to the bird.”

Waites was able to cut the fishing line and bring the bird down to safety.

“I have to say that it was truly an amazing sight,” Park Ranger Matthew Holt said. “It was a true team effort. Some of the older boys in the troop offered their help by bracing the ladder along with myself, while Kyle climbed to get the bird. Others were helping with crowd control so the keepers could get their carts close to the lake for assistance.” 

We’re happy to report the dove is doing well. 

“Luckily, it only had some small lacerations on its foot,” Waites added. “We treated and released it later that day.”

Just another reason why we are #MoreThanAZoo.