4 min read

Dad Drops Everything To Free Tiny Scared Beetle From Fishing Line

“He patiently waited as each piece of fishing line was removed. It was as if he knew he was safe” 💕

To some people, a beetle wouldn’t be worth saving. But a father and his young son from Perth, Australia, did everything they could to rescue a tiny beetle who needed their help.

In November 2016, the father and son duo were volunteering at a beach cleanup organized by Sea Shepherd Australia when they picked up a 14-foot-long plastic fishing line. Tangled up in the line was a cane beetle.

Beetle tangled up in fishing line
Gemma Hickey

“The line had become entangled around his tiny legs and around his body,” Gemma Hickey, a Sea Shepherd volunteer, told The Dodo. “He would never have had the strength to get out of it.”

Beetle tangled up in fishing line
Gemma Hickey

The father took the beetle into his hands and used a pair of small scissors to start cutting the line away. While he worked, Hickey was there to take photos.

“They had to cut away tiny pieces of the fishing line bit by bit,” Hickey said. “It was very difficult as there is the fear of cutting off a limb accidentally.”

Man cutting away fishing line from beetle
Gemma Hickey

The father diligently worked for about an hour, and the beetle didn’t move the entire time, Hickey noticed.

Man holding tiny beetle
Gemma Hickey

“He never tried to get away,” Hickey said. “He patiently waited as each piece of fishing line was removed. It was as if he knew he was safe.”

Man holding beetle in her hands
Gemma Hickey

When the beetle was finally free, he flew away, and everyone at the beach cleanup cheered.

To Hickey, the only unfortunate part was that she and the other Sea Shepherd volunteers didn’t get the pair's names, and they don’t know how to get in touch with them. But Hickey will always remember their good deed, and how willing they were to help the tiniest of animals.

Beetle sitting on man's head
Gemma Hickey

“That beetle was suffering, and many people would have walked past,” Hickey said. “Anyone who saves a life is a hero, and for me that dad is definitely a hero.”

To learn more about plastic pollution and ways you can help reduce it, you can check out Sea Shepherd Australia’s website.
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