Cygnets become victims of fishing litter

The two cygnets after they were rescued by RSPCA officers. Photo: RSPCA.
The two cygnets after they were rescued by RSPCA officers. Photo: RSPCA.
The RSPCA has called for anglers to take home their litter after fishing line badly injured sibling Mute Swan cygnets.

The two cygnets were rescued by the charity when they were found tangled up in fishing litter in Sheffield. They were found to be severely injured by the discarded fishing line, which was wound so tightly that it was cutting into their legs and wings.

Officers rushed the pair to RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, Nantwich, Cheshire, last week so that the two young swans could receive treatment for their injuries. Charity workers and conservationists have are urged anglers to take home their unwanted lines, hooks and other paraphernalia to prevent it happening again.

Stapeley Grange RSPCA manager Lee Stewart said: “It is always so frustrating to see such cases like these two cygnets admitted because these incidents are so unnecessary and so easily avoided. Most anglers make the effort to retrieve and take home all their fishing line and tackle, but some are not so careful and so resulting in incidents like this. As well as their injuries being very painful, these poor cygnets had to deal with the stress of being removed from their parents so they could receive treatment.”

Sadly one of the cygnets was put down under veterinary advice, after examinations found its wing was too severely damaged to survive in the wild. The second cygnet is doing well after its ordeal and will be integrated with other admitted cygnets as soon as possible. Staff are hoping it will be released back into the wild later in the year. 

Lee said: “Sadly, one of the young cygnets had to be put to sleep as vets found the fishing line had severely and permanently damaged its wing. I hope this innocent cygnet's death is not in vain and people encourage all anglers to act responsibly to ensure that no fishing litter is left behind. This will help prevent further innocent loss of life in the future.”
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