The Scottish SPCA rescued a cygnet that had become entangled in fishing wire and was later found to have swallowed the weighted float at the end of the line.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity received a call about the baby swan after a concerned member of the public noticed it appeared to be trapped in reeds at the side of the Kirkintilloch canal on 13 June.
The incident comes after a spate of reports to the charity of swans being affected by litter in the Renfrewshire area.
Scottish SPCA inspector Sian Robertson said, “When I attended, I noticed the cygnet’s leg was caught in something.
“Due to the position of the baby swan, I had to get my colleague, inspector Jack Marshall, to assist with the rescue.
“Once we managed to catch the bird, we noticed that there was also wire coming from its mouth.
“The line in the cygnet’s mouth was wrapped around its foot and had become caught on reeds in the water. As it struggled to free itself from the reeds, the line had tightened around its leg which would have caused the bird quite a bit of pain.
“After a visit to a private vet for pain relief and then to the Glasgow vet school for x-rays, it was discovered that the weighted ball at the end of the line had been swallowed by the cygnet.
“The baby swan had to be sedated to have the ball removed.
“The cygnet has now been taken to our National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross where it will receive further treatment until it’s ready to be released back in to the wild.
“We’re really glad the member of the public noticed the bird or it could have been caused further suffering with no way to free itself.
“All litter has the potential to be dangerous or lethal to wildlife. Incidents like this are easily avoidable if people take their rubbish away and dispose of it responsibly.”
Anyone concerned about the welfare of an animal should contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.