A cygnet had a lucky escape after getting fishing line tangled around his beak on a lake in St Helens.


The RSPCA was called after the young swan was seen with the fishing litter dangling from his mouth in Grosvener Road, on 22 June.

Fortunately the cygnet was untangled by a team of two RSPCA officers – Steve Wickham and Nick Green. Happily, he was released back to his family after being found to be uninjured.CygnetRescue3.jpg

Steve said: “We managed to catch him and cut away the fishing line. We also carefully felt his throat to make sure there was nothing in there. Thankfully, the cygnet was OK in this instance and he was released.

“However, this does serve as a reminder of how damaging discarded fishing litter can be for wildlife. All it takes is a little thought and care – and an animal could be saved from suffering. I carry out many of these type of rescues and not all of the animals involved are as lucky. It isn’t unheard of for a bird to be strangled to death as a result of getting tangled in fishing litter.”

For information about about to dispose of your fishing litter properly 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.

If you see an animal you have concerns about please call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999

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.)

  •  A video of the rescue can be downloaded here.