The bird was spotted suspended over a river near Shortmead Street, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire on Monday (23 February). His wing was trapped in fishing wire, which was then attached to the tree.

Moorhen2The RSPCA was called and an inspector had to wade into the river to be able to reach up to the bird and untangle him.

The moorhen was taken to a wildlife specialist for treatment for injuries to the wing and they are  hopeful that he will survive. There is feather damage but no broken bones.

RSPCA inspector Stephen Reeves said: “The poor bird was flapping about trying to free himself but kept on getting more and more tangled.

“There is no way he would have been able to free himself without help.

“There was a happy ending this time – but there often isn’t with cases of wildlife and fishing litter which can be very damaging to wildlife.

“It is so easy to dispose of rubbish properly and we urge people to take greater care – it could save a life.”

Anyone who sees an injured bird or animal should call the RSPCA’s emergency helpline on 0300 1234 999.

The RSPCA can only rescue animals like this with your help. Please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).

Notes to editors

For information about about to dispose of your fishing litter properly, please see: www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/litter/fishing

Top tips include:

  • Concerns include that line can wrap round an animal and cut the blood supply to parts of its body, while hooks, line and weights can be swallowed and cause internal blockages or injury.

  • Please take unwanted fishing line home and cut it into pieces before putting in the bin.

  • Hooks should be wrapped in newspaper before being put in the bin.

  • Please be aware of surrounding trees – discarded line caught in foliage causes many problems for wildlife.

  • Please don’t leave bait unattended – always remove from the hook and put in safe place.

  • Please use a bait box so that there is no chance of leaving an empty bait tin behind by mistake.