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Dec. 2021 Jefferson Award: Linda Grenzer

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Linda Grenzer Jefferson Award

Antigo, Wis. (WAOW)--A Tomahawk woman has a passion for loons.

"I really enjoy them--the haunting sounds they make and the beauty that they are," Linda Grenzer says.

Linda Grenzer and her husband Kevin specialize in rescuing those birds who become iced in on the frozen waters of Wisconsin.

"It may be because they are sick or due to an injury or they become entangled in fishing line or lures," Linda Grenzer says.

She uses a special boat to go out onto the ice and net the birds--as her husband stands on shore ready to pull her into safety.

"It is such a high because you know that you have saved another life," Kevin Grenzer says.

Once they capture the bird it is taken to REGI the Raptor Education Group, Inc. near Antigo.

"We are extremely grateful for the work they do it has really changed the way we do rescues--which in the past it wasn't possible, REGI Executive Director Marge Gibson says.

The Grenzer's say they rescue about 20 loons a year--but also save eagles, pelicans, swans, owls geese and ducks.

It is a natural outgrowth of Linda's love for wildlife photography.

But for her the thrill arrives when a rescued bird is ready to be released back into the wild.

"There are many times they stop and look back--make a call," Linda Grenzer says. "And I say, maybe they are thanking us."

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