ANGLERS are being urged to take more care after a swan was found with fishing line trapped in its mouth and throat and a gosling had to be put to sleep after becoming entangled in a carelessly discarded equipment.

The RSPCA carried out two rescues in Bolton on the same day from two different parks in the latest in a series of incidents in which birds have suffered horrific injuries due to fishing lines.

The Swan was was rescued from Longsight Park, Harwood on June 1 and the same day a gosling was found in Doffcocker Lodge nature reserve after being discovered entangled in fishing line, which was cutting into him.

Both were also taken to Stapeley Grange for treatment.

The gosling was so badly injured a vet decided he needed to be put to sleep to end his suffering. The swan is recovering well and will be released back into the wild.

The Bolton News:

They were both saved by Animal Welfare Officer Steve Wickham ­— who last month also helped to save a swan with a fishing hook embedded into its leg in a nature reserve in Congleton.

He was alerted by a member of the public who spotted the distressed swan.

Steve had to return to the scene with a water rescue boat and Animal Collection Officer (ACO) Lauren Bradshaw was forced to dive into the water to get to the bird.

The RSPCA said these incidents serve as a reminder for people to make sure they dispose of fishing litter properly.

Steve said: “This is a reminder of how damaging discarded fishing litter can be for wildlife. The majority of anglers do dispose of their litter properly and it is frustrating that those who don’t possibly don’t realise how dangerous it is to animals.

“As can be seen here with these three incidents in just a few days, discarded line and hooks can be a terrible hazard for wildlife. In all these cases the bird’s predicament was spotted and we were able to rescue them - but sadly the gosling was so badly injured he had to be put to sleep.

“The swan at Congleton was proving difficult to catch but luckily Lauren was able to get into the water and dived for the bird to rescue him.

“We urge all anglers to take home any litter after fishing - as discarded lines and hooks can easily snag water birds and other wildlife, causing terrible injuries and suffering that can lead to animals dying. All it takes is a little thought and care.”

Adam Grogan, anti-litter campaign manager for the RSPCA, said: “We strongly urge those who enjoy fishing to be extra cautious to make sure 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.

“We ask all those who enjoy fishing to follow the Angling Trust’s Take 5 campaign and make use of the recycling scheme to dispose of their waste tackle and line. If members of the public see discarded litter we would encourage them to pick it up and dispose of it safely. Their action could save an animal’s life.”

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