Plea to anglers as swan is hurt

The RSPCA has appealed to anglers to clear up fishing litter after a swan became entangled in fishing line at Gooderstone Water Gardens.Vets at the East Winch Wildlife Centre, near King's Lynn, had to operate on the male swan to remove a hook which was embedded in his tongue and the roof of his mouth.

The RSPCA has appealed to anglers to clear up fishing litter after a swan became entangled in fishing line at Gooderstone Water Gardens.

Vets at the East Winch Wildlife Centre, near King's Lynn, had to operate on the male swan to remove a hook which was embedded in his tongue and the roof of his mouth. A line which had gone down the bird's throat was also removed.

The male swan was spotted on Saturday with a fishing line coming from his beak. The RSPCA attended but, despite several rescue attempts, the bird was still too mobile and could not be caught. It was caught three days later by a local man, Gary Dent, with the help of a friend who took it to the RSPCA centre near King's Lynn.

The swan is recovering but is being given antibiotics for his badly swollen tongue. Staff will need to monitor its progress to ensure he can eat and put on enough weight to be released back into the wild.


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It is thought that the swan had swallowed the hook and line at least a week before he was rescued as he weighed only 7.8kg. A healthy swan should weigh between nine and 11kg.

Wildlife centre manager Alison Charles said: “This swan had suffered quite a gruesome injury but we are hopeful that he will begin to eat properly again.

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“This shows how much injury and distress can be caused by discarded fishing litter. We appeal to all fishermen and anglers to cut up line and recover hooks and take them home to dispose of them properly.”

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