The RSPCA is reminding people to put sports netting away when finished, after the charity was called to rescue a deer who had got tangled up in football netting.
A member of the public contacted the charity after spotting the deer with his antlers tangled in the sports netting in Wellington Road, in Little Wenlock, Telford, at around 1pm on Friday (31 March).
RSPCA inspector Kate Parker and Animal Collection Officer Sophie Wilson both attended, along with a vet, and managed to cut the deer free. Thankfully the deer was uninjured and was released back into the wild.
Inspector Parker said: “The deer had really got himself tangled up and had clearly been struggling to get free, although it is difficult to say how long he had been trapped there for.
“Sadly, we do get contacted regularly about animals trapped in sports netting – often animals which are nocturnal, like hedgehogs, foxes and badgers. Sometimes they can be struggling for so long to free themselves that they suffer horrific injuries – sometimes fatal.
“The deer in this incident was not injured, however the next animal we are called to rescue from netting may not be so lucky.
“Now that we’re in spring and the weather will be getting nicer, people will be making more use of tennis and goal nets, which is why it is very important that we get the message out about how hazardous it can be.
“So please help us to help keep wildlife safe by putting away your sports nets when you have finished using them.”
Other forms of netting, like pond or fruit netting, can be a real hazard to wild animals like hedgehogs and the RSPCA recommends replacing these with solid metal mesh.
Anyone who sees an animal in distress should contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour line on 0300 1234 999.
To help the RSPCA rescue animals, text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message) or visit www.rspca.org.uk/give.