Warning to anglers after moorhen hurt

ANGRY staff at a Suffolk vets are calling on anglers to clear up after themselves as they revealed a moorhen was so badly entangled in fishing line its skin had started to grow over the strangling wire.

By James Mortlock

ANGRY staff at a Suffolk vets are calling on anglers to clear up after themselves as they revealed a moorhen was so badly entangled in fishing line its skin had started to grow over the strangling wire.

A group of youngsters discovered the stricken bird near the River Stour in Sudbury two weeks ago and they took it to a vets in the town where it had to have an operation under general anaesthetic and two weeks of intensive treatment to save its life.

Staff at the Mulberry Court practice in Melford Road say the moorhen is the fifth bird they have had brought to them entangled in fishing wire and while they have now saved four, one of the birds - a duck - sadly died.


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Donna Buzzeo, a veterinary nurse at the centre, said vets had also had to operate on a dog infected by a hook it had swallowed. It is believed the dog had eaten a fish it found on the river bank with the hook still embedded in it.

The nurse called on anglers to take more care: “It seems fishermen using the stretch of river between the Mill Hotel and up to Melford Road aren't clearing up after themselves.

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“People have got to be careful - at the moment with such a large number of injured birds and animals coming in over the past few months it just looks as if they couldn't care less.”

She said the moorhen could have died a nasty death: “The skin around the wire was beginning to get infected when it was brought in. We think it would have lost its leg and subsequently died.

“The children who brought it in saved its life. It had lost a couple of toes when it was brought to us and it looks as if it might have been as a result of this - and it had some really nasty injuries on its legs. It wasn't a happy moorhen but now after the past two weeks of intensive treatment it's ready to be released back into the wild.”

The surgery funded the moorhen's treatment - a total cost of around £100 - but staff were just relieved the bird had recovered, said Miss Buzzeo.

If it continues to make good progress the moorhen will be released back into the river over the next few days.

james.mortlock@eadt.co.uk

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