The Scottish SPCA has urged the public to discard of fishing equipment properly after a cygnet died during a rescue mission.
The organisation was alerted to a distressed cygnet when a member of the public noticed the bird struggling in a Larbert loch.
A team was dispatched to the scene to investigate and found the young swan “tangled in hooks on a fishing line”.
Scottish SPCA inspector, Mairi Wright, added that the hooks had also collected litter which weighed the bird down further.
“The bird had hooks in his head, cheek and tongue, which would have caused him a great deal of pain and distress”.
The inspector said that it took the team “a few” visits before they were able to catch the cygnet and take him for veterinary treatment.
Ms Wright confirmed that the cygnet later died following an operation.
The incident led the Scottish SPCA to issue a public plea to practice caution when disposing of items that can be treacherous for birds.
“Items thrown into lochs or ponds can cause serious injuries to these large birds,” she said.
“Swans can become tangled in fishing wire or nets that are not discarded properly.
“They can also mistake fishing hooks or bait for food and try to swallow them, causing serious injuries.
“Although the vast majority of anglers are very responsible and take care to clear away their equipment after they’ve used it, there is a minority of people who fish and don’t respect the environment and the wildlife that inhabits it.
“We’re urging anyone fishing in this area, or anywhere in Scotland, to show some consideration and clear away every last piece of fishing equipment. This really could save an animal’s life.”
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