Duck and swan hooked by discarded angling gear at Telford pool
A duck and a swan which were found with carp hooks embedded in their beaks have been rescued by the RSPCA.
Passers-by spotted the distressed cygnet at Trench Pool in Telford on April 6, and reported to the RSPCA that they could see wire cutting into the young swan’s neck.
RSPCA Inspector Nayman Dunderdale and Animal Welfare Officer Dave Hollinshead used a boat to reach the cygnet. While they were rescuing the young swan, they saw a tufted duck that was also in difficulty.
Inspector Dunderdale said: “We’d just managed to catch the stricken cygnet and put him into a special holding box to take him to a vet, when we spotted a tufted duck who was also in distress.
"The duck kept diving, but we eventually managed to catch him. Sadly it was immediately clear the same thing had happened to him. Like the cygnet, this poor bird also had a large carp hook embedded in his beak with a bead and a large weight attached.
“We removed the hook from the tufted duck, and on examination, we were happy to see he was actually injury-free so we let him go.”
Before leaving, the two RSPCA officers checked round the lake for any more discarded angling litter to try to prevent more birds and animal getting caught up.
“The lake was infested with carelessly discarded fishing paraphernalia," Inspector Dunderdale said.
"We found various hooks, six lead weights and lots of line on the trees round the edge. This is so dangerous to wildlife and can prove fatal.
“I would strongly urge those who enjoy fishing to be extra cautious when packing up to make sure no litter 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 cygnet was taken to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange wildlife centre in Nantwich where the carp hook was removed and the young swan’s wounds were treated. He is said to be doing well and once he has recovered from his injuries and has been rehabilitated he will be released back into the wild.
Deaths to mammals and birds from raging infections from injuries inflicted by discarded fishing hooks or from deep wounds where plastic has cut into their body are frequently seen by the RSPCA. Strangulation by old fishing line is a common cause of death.
Llewelyn Lowen, RSPCA Wildlife Information Officer said: “If you see discarded litter around, please pick it up and put it in the bin. You could save an animal’s life.
“All sorts of litter can cause problems. Line can wrap around necks causing deep flesh wounds and cutting off the blood supply, hooks can pierce beaks or feet, become embedded in skin or get caught in the bird's throat, and weights can be swallowed causing internal injuries and blockages.
“Unfortunately we do see a number of birds being brought into the RSPCA 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.”
For more information about disposing of fishing litter properly visit rspca.org.uk