A pigeon was rescued by the RSPCA after he got tangled in fishing wire – leaving him hanging over a canal bridge.

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The RSPCA is reminding people of the dangers fishing litter causes wildlife and is urging people to dispose of it correctly to avoid incidents like this.

A member of the public contacted the animal welfare charity on Tuesday (17 January) after spotting the pigeon hanging upside down from the wire from a bridge at Bridgewater Basin, in Cassiobridge, Watford.

Animal Collection Officer Grace Mead attended the incident.

She said: “The bird was hanging from his right wing – we don’t know how long he’d been like that for, but he was clearly distressed.

“With the help of Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, we managed to bring the pigeon to safety using a net on a long pole. Sadly his right wing was badly bruised but he was lucky, as fishing litter can be lethal to wildlife.

“It was a bit touch and go to start with as he was so exhausted, but he is now being looked after at Bedfordshire Wildlife Centre and is recovering well.Pigeon2.jpg

“We are really grateful to the person who contacted us about him, as otherwise he could have died a slow death while suspended upside down.

“These incidents are frustrating as they could so often be easily avoided by fishing litter being correctly disposed of in the first place.

“We urge people to think twice and please dispose of them correctly, as hooks, lines and weights can cause horrific injuries to wildlife. With a little more thought and care, an animal’s life could be saved.”

For more information about disposing of fishing litter properly please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/litter/fishing.

Top tips include:

● Take unwanted fishing line home and cut it into pieces before putting in the bin.

● Be aware of surrounding trees – discarded line caught in foliage causes problems for wildlife.

● Don’t leave bait unattended – always remove from the hook and put in safe place.

● Use a bait box.

● Dispose of any litter you see, even if it’s not your own.

The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3. (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message.)