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The Department of Conservation (Doc) says it is surprised by a Dunedin woman's difficulty obtaining its help on New Year's Day for an injured seagull.
Charlotte Till said she found a seagull at St Clair with a fishhook coming out of its lower beak, trailing about 7m of fishing line.
She was advised by the SPCA to phone Doc, which said it was not responsible for the seagull.
She took the bird to a police station where an officer freed it with pliers.
Doc coastal Otago acting area manager Dinah Wakelin said she was surprised at the difficulty Miss Till experienced. Doc worked closely with the SPCA to decide which agency was responsible for animals needing help. That was usually determined by whether the species was native. .
If in doubt, a person who found an injured animal should contact Doc, she said.
SPCA executive officer Sophie McSkimming said the species of seagull Miss Till was assisting was Doc's responsibility.