UNITED KINGDOM -- A swan is today recovering after being found at Ranworth with a fishing hook through its tongue.
The swan was found by staff from Norfolk Wildlife Trust at Ranworth Broads nature reserve on Friday morning. RSPCA animal collection officer Amy Crisp rushed out to the nature reserve in search of the injured bird after receiving a call from the team.
ACO Crisp said: “The swan’s injuries weren’t obvious from afar so he is lucky that people were very vigilant that day, but once we were up close it was clear he was seriously hurt.
“I could see the blood coming from his mouth, dripping onto his beautiful white feathers. The team from Norfolk Wildlife Trust and I worked together to approach the swan on boats and managed to swiftly confine him.
“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.”
A volunteer driver for the RSPCA transported the swan to RSPCA East Winch, a specialist wildlife centre, where he underwent immediate surgery to remove the hook from his tongue.
RSPCA East Winch centre manager Alison Charles said: “Thankfully the surgery was a success and the swan is now recovering. Our team is very experienced with wild birds and we are hopeful he will make a good recovery and, in time, can be released back to Ranworth Broads and be reunited with his mate.”
She added: “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.
“If any member of the public sees discarded litter around if they could pick it up and put it in the bin they may save an animal’s life.
“All sorts of 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.”
If you spot an animal in distress, call the RSPCA’s helpline on 0300 1234 999. To support the RSPCA text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).
(Great Yarmouth Mercury - May 1, 2017)