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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Fears raised over distressed swan

ANIMAL lovers have been left sickened by the sight of a female swan with what appears to be a discarded fishing hook lodged in its throat.

SICKENING: Animal lovers are concerned about a female swan with what looks to be a fishing hook stuck in its throat at Hodbarrow Nature Reserve. Inset, Jacqueline Jewula Submitted

The pen was spotted last week with a bulge in its neck and a piece of fishing line dangling from its mouth by visitors to Hodbarrow Nature Reserve, near Millom.

Jacqueline Jewula, of Egremont Street, Millom, was one of several people to have contacted the RSPCA last week when she first saw the swan.

The 50-year-old, who said she has a soft spot for all animals, said it was distressing to see the bird – the mother of cygnets – in obvious pain.

“It’s upsetting and a lot of people have seen it,” she said. “It’s been suffering and struggling to eat.

“A couple of people said it was eating a little bit easier (on Wednesday), but nobody knows what sort of hook it is.”

An RSPCA spokeswoman said the matter had been “reported to us, assigned to an inspector and given urgent status”.

“The inspector involved has arranged for a local vet with a boat to go out and see if they can catch the swan,” the spokeswoman said on Friday.

“It would be difficult for her to catch the swan without a boat and the inspectors who have it are off duty and (yesterday) had been the first time she has managed to get hold of the vet because of the holiday.”

Award-winning Haverigg-based wildlife photographer Christine Redgate said it was the second time in the last year such an incident had happened.

She urged local fishermen to be careful with how they disposed of their hooks and lines to stop it from happening again.

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