The RSPCA is reminding people to dispose of angling litter carefully after a heron died from injuries sustained after he got his feet tangled in fishing line.


The heron was rescued by Animal Collection Officer Derek Hampson on Monday, 8 August, from a lake in Burtonhead Road, St Helen’s, after a concerned passer-by contacted the RSPCA.

The bird had got tangled in both the fishing line and the reel. The line was cut away and the heron was taken to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, in Cheshire.

Sadly, the fishing line caused such serious injuries to one of the legs that the heron was put to sleep on Monday (15 August).

received_10153618376515653.jpegLee Stewart, manager at Stapeley Grange, said: “The poor heron had become very tangled up in the fishing line – both legs were entangled which meant the Heron was struggling to move. When he arrived at Stapeley Grange, we could see how severe his injuries were but decided to give the heron a chance.

“Sadly, the decision was made to put him to sleep a week later as the line has caused some irreversible damage to one of the legs. It is always very difficult for the team to see animal suffering because of anglers carelessly disposing of their fishing litter.

“It is very frustrating as this could have been so easily been avoided if someone had disposed of their fishing line correctly in the first place,” added Lee.

“Although most anglers do clean up after themselves, fishing litter is still a major problem and it can be so damaging to wildlife – we see many instances of this at Stapeley Grange. 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, suffering that can lead to animals dying or being put to sleep.

“All it takes is a little thought and care and an animal’s life could be saved.”

If you would like to help RSPCA Stapeley Grange with a donation of just £3, simply text RSPCA2 to 70007. Texts cost £3 plus standard network rate.