An animal rescue centre in East Winch has issued a warning over the hazards of fishing litter after a swan got a hook stuck in its neck and beak.
A female swan who was spotted with a pike hook lodged in her neck and beak at a marine in Buckden, St Neots, has been taken to RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre for treatment.
Once the swan was under anaesthetic, the team worked to remove the piece of hook stuck in her neck as well as another segment which had gone through both her beak and tongue.
Centre manager at RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre, Alison Charles said: “The poor swan had clearly been in a huge amount of pain and would not have been able to feed as a result.
“The wound was severely infected and had she not have been rescued it would sadly only have been a matter of time before she died.
“Now this hook has been removed she is starting to look a bit brighter and has began to eat.
“She’s being cared for in our intensive care unit, although it is still early days as to whether she will pull through.”
“Sadly we do see a large amount of birds being brought into us with these kind of injuries.
“Most anglers do make the effort to retrieve and take home all their fishing line and tackle but sadly some are not so careful, which results in incidents like this.
“I hope by highlighting the plight of this poor swan that it will act as a reminder to people to ensure they always dispose of their fishing line and hooks correctly.
“Swans are inquisitive creatures and she would have seen this shiny looking object and gone over to investigate and see if it was food and sadly this was the end result for her.”
For more information about disposing of fishing litter properly, visit www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/injuredanimals. And if you do encounter a wild animal you think needs help, call their emergency line on 0300 1234 999.