MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesotan’s love affair with their native loons was evident on a Twin Cities lake Wednesday.

On September 8 on Shorewood’s Christmas Lake, folks saw a troubling sight: A young loon snarled in a lure’s treble hooks, unable to fly.

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Gail Buhl and a team of rescuers captured the loon in dramatic nighttime fashion.

“That bird was trying to fly, but you could see it was impinging any kind of movement,” Buhl said. “And we were very, very fortunate that we were able to catch the loon on the first try first go, and that’s a lot less stress for the loon and for us.”

They would bring it to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Roseville for emergency medical care.

(credit: CBS)

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“We had to make sure it gets antibiotics, make sure there’s no infection, or anything else in the soft tissue,” Buhl said.

X-rays revealed a soft tissue wound, but no broken bones. Vets removed the hooks and got the bird on the mend.

Wednesday morning, on a wind-swept Christmas Lake, it was time to put back what nature intended. For Annette Ahlmann, it was pure pleasure.

“Getting to watch that bird swim away, dive in the water and fly off, it’s just incredible, because you know all that work was definitely worth it to see it fly off into the wild,” Ahlmann said.

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Wildlife experts say the younger loons will actually separate from the adults this time of year. In the coming weeks, it will group together with other loons and migrate south to the Gulf of Mexico.