RSPCA Cymru has come to the aid of a swan with a fishing line and hook caught through its tongue in Deeside.

The swan was found on the Deeside Industrial Estate on Friday (27 March) with a member of the public alerting the RSPCA after spotting a fishing line protruding from his mouth.

Swan fishing litter Deeside pic1RSPCA deputy chief inspector Phil Lewis said: “This swan was clearly in distress with the fishing line protruding from its month. On closer examination the hook was actually through its tongue.

“I was able to catch the swan and remove the fishing line and hook successfully. The swan recovered quickly and I was able to release him onto a nearby lake where his partner was.”

RSPCA Cymru say the incident is “yet another reminder” about the dangers fishing litter poses to wildlife.

“We’re so grateful to the member of the public who contacted us – who was a delivery driver – so we were able to help this poor swan,” said Phil.

“The fishing line and hook would have been causing him a considerable amount of pain and distress and if not removed could have caused serious issues.

“Fortunately, the swan has been returned to the wild with no lasting damage. Not all birds are as lucky as this swan – and hooks, weights and line contribute to countless wildlife fatalities each and every year.”

The majority of anglers do dispose of their litter properly and it is frustrating that those who don’t possibly don’t realise how dangerous it is to animals. Discarded line in particular is a terrible hazard for wildlife, particularly as it can be almost invisible.

We strongly urge those who enjoy fishing to be extra cautious to make sure nothing is left behind. Most anglers are very responsible when disposing of their litter, but it only takes one careless person to endanger the life of an animal. We ask all those who enjoy fishing to follow the Angling Trust’s Take 5 campaign and make use of the recycling scheme to dispose of their waste tackle and line.

To help the RSPCA keep rescuing animals like these and keep our animal hospitals and centres running for emergency treatment and round the clock care through these unprecedented times, please donate whatever you can spare at www.rspca.org.uk/covid.