A swan was found struggling to eat after its beak got stuck in a plastic bottle top at a pond in Renfrewshire.
The bird was spotted by a member of the public in Barshaw Park, Paisley, with a plastic ring fixed around its lower beak and tongue.
Animal welfare officers have fired a warning to litterbugs, saying the swan “would have died” had they not been contacted last Tuesday.
Scottish SPCA senior animal rescue officer Jan Toraman said: “The swan had a plastic bottle top ring stuck around its lower beak and tongue.
“It was very tight so was affecting the bird’s ability to eat.
“We are grateful to the passer-by who contacted us.
“If it hadn’t been reported when it was, the swan could have become weak and vulnerable.
“Thankfully, I managed to catch the swan and cut the ring relatively quickly so the swan experienced minimal stress.
“After an examination to make sure there were no other injuries, I released the swan and it happily made its way back to its swan friends.
“If we hadn’t been on hand to rescue the swan then it would have died as a result of someone leaving this small piece of litter.
“This is a stark reminder to everyone to please dispose of their rubbish responsibly.
“No matter how small, it has the potential to be dangerous or lethal to wildlife. This incident has a happy ending but sadly not all of them do.”
Anyone concerned about the welfare of an animal should contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.