Swan with beak trapped in bottle top ‘could have died’

The bird was rescued after being spotted by a member of the public with plastic fixed around its lower beak and tongue.

Swan with beak trapped in bottle top ‘could have died’ Scottish SPCA

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.

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