Animal collection officer (ACO) Stephanie Davidson was able to safely untangle the bird, which was not hurt – but the RSPCA say the animal was at “serious risk” of further entanglement.
(Wildlife entangled in line may suffer a slow death due to starvation, while discarded hooks and weights can also cause serious and even fatal injury)
The RSPCA is urging all those who enjoy fishing – outside of the coronavirus restrictions – to protect wildlife by following the Angling Trust’s Take 5 Campaign and make use of the recycling scheme to dispose of their waste tackle and line.
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Ms Davidson said: “This poor swan has a lot of fishing wire around the back and legs. Fortunately, the swan was not injured – but was at serious risk of entanglement, had a kind-hearted member of the public not spotted the bird and got in touch.
“We can’t know when this fishing litter was discarded – but with the Covid-19 outbreak restricting recreational activities, it could have been some while ago. This shows how things like dropped wire can remain a risk to animals for a very long time, indeed.
“Fortunately, the majority of anglers are very responsible and dispose of their waste properly. Sadly, it is so frustrating that some don’t do this – and place animals like this swan in serious danger.
“After safely removing and disposing of the wire, the swan was able to be returned straight to the pond – but we know not all birds caught in such situations are as lucky.
“It was great to be able to secure a happy ending for the bird, with RSPCA officers still on the frontline dealing with emergency situations amid the coronavirus outbreak. However, as this crisis intensifies, our animal rescue teams are being stretched to their limited – so we’re asking the public to donate what they can to help keep us on the road”.
Please visit the RSPCA’s website for advice, information and support.