The RSPCA is urging people to dispose of fishing litter properly after a coot was found with a fishing line tangled tightly around his tongue.
The coot was taken into the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, in Nantwich, Cheshire, on 8 December, from Tunstall Park, Staffordshire.
The vet team at Stapeley Grange anaesthetised him to remove the line and assess the damage, where it was found that the worst damage was to the base of his tongue, where the line was most tightly tangled.
The fishing line had also tangled together every toe on his feet and both wings.
Bev Panto, vet officer at Stapeley Grange, said: “It is touch-and-go for this poor bird.
“At the moment he is on very high doses of anti-inflammatories, antibiotics and pain relief, but there is still a chance that his tongue might die and sadly he may not survive this.
“We have got our fingers crossed that a miracle will happen for him.
“Frustratingly, this could have been so easily been avoided if someone had disposed of their fishing line correctly in the first place.
“Although most anglers do clean up after themselves, fishing litter is still a major problem and it is so damaging to wildlife. Please remember to take home any litter if you go fishing – discarded lines and hooks can easily snag water birds and other wildlife, causing terrible injuries and suffering like this poor coot is going through.
“All it takes is a little thought and care – and a life could be saved.”
The RSPCA is a charity relies on public donations to exist. Anyone who would like to support the vital work of Stapeley Grange can text RSPCA2 to 70007. Texts cost £3 plus standard network rate.