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Trapped Loon In Icy Minnesota Lake Captures Worldwide Attention

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- People from all over the world are rooting for "Gilligan, "a young loon who is still swimming in open water on the Crow Wing chain of lakes, near Nevis, just weeks after other loons migrated to warmer temperatures down south.

MPR reports that Debbie Center, who started living in Nevis in 2014, started capturing photos and videos of the loon, nicknames "Gilligan" by the resident who first spotted it.

Center began posting regular updates on a Facebook group she created years ago called "Loony for Loons," which has 7,000 followers.

Three members of Nevis Fire and Rescue attempted the rescue the bird Wednesday, with assistance from two members from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and help from the National Loon Center, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

However, the attempt to rescue the loon this week was unsuccessful. After about a half-hour, rescuers decided to stop so as to not cause any stress to the bird. Per the Tribune's report, loon experts say that the bird needs to be in an area of open water 10 feet in diameter or less in order for a successful rescue.

Center checks on the loon daily from her friend's property.

Center told the Tribune that if the loon can be captured, the plan is to bring it to the Wildlife Rehab Center in Roseville.

"I talked with them on the phone the other day, and they said they've got world-renowned lead testing and treating equipment if that's needed," she told the Tribune. "They have a network where, if the loon is releasable, they can transport him down to Florida for release to live out his life. But they weren't able to catch him."

For updates on Gilligan, visit Loony for Loons Facebook page.

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