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Swan left with severe injury after fishing hook became lodged in leg

PUBLISHED: 12:04 23 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:04 23 September 2020

The swan was rescued by the RSPCA and is now recovering Picture: RSPCA

The swan was rescued by the RSPCA and is now recovering Picture: RSPCA

Archant

A swan is being cared for by the RSPCA after being found in Sudbury with a severe injury after becoming trapped in discarded fishing litter.

The hook and a plastic duckling were left embedded in the swan Picture: RSPCAThe hook and a plastic duckling were left embedded in the swan Picture: RSPCA

The bird was found on Thursday, September 17 with two hooks from a nine-pronged triple pike hook embedded in his leg and the webbing of his foot.

RSPCA animal collection officer Natalie Reed spotted the injured swan when she was called out to another swan and rushed him to the charity’s specialist wildlife centre in Norfolk.

She said: “Unfortunately, swans and geese are often admitted to our wildlife centres as a result of being entangled in, swallowing, or being injured by fishing litter.

“It’s heartbreaking to see.”

The swan has been severely injured by the hook Picture: RSPCAThe swan has been severely injured by the hook Picture: RSPCA

The swan was looked over by a vet at East Winch Wildlife Centre in Norfolk and the hooks were removed.

The bird is now having antibiotics and pain relief to treat the infected wound on his leg left by the hooks.

Manager Alison Charles said: “I have seen a lot of wild animals with awful injuries caused by fishing litter in my time here at East Winch - but I’ve never seen anything like this.

“The poor swan had one of three triple-pronged hooks sunk into his leg and the other through the webbing of his foot.

The hook and plastic duckling which caused the damage Picture: RSPCAThe hook and plastic duckling which caused the damage Picture: RSPCA

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“The hooks were joined with a plastic fake duckling which is used to confuse the fish.

“We strongly urge those who enjoy fishing to be extra careful to ensure nothing is left behind.

“Most anglers are very responsible when disposing of their litter, but it only takes one careless person to endanger the life of an animal.”

The RSPCA asks all those who enjoy fishing to join the Angling Trust’s Take 5 campaign and make use of the Anglers National Line recycling scheme to dispose of their waste tackle and line once they have finished using them.

Ms Charles added: “If any member of the public sees discarded litter around then we would ask them to do their bit and pick it up to dispose of it properly, in a bin, and they may save an animal’s life.

“All sorts of fishing litter can cause problems.

“Line can wrap around necks causing deep wounds in flesh and cutting off the blood supply.

“Hooks can pierce beaks, become embedded in skin or get caught in the bird’s throat and weights can be swallowed causing internal injuries and blockages.”

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