An unlucky duck had to be rescued after she got a hook stuck in her beak - and the RSPCA has issued a warning to fishermen about the dangers of leaving litter.
The duck was spotted by a member of the public in Watermead, on Thursday last week and RSPCA animal collection officer Grace Mead caught the duck and took her to a wildlife hospital in Buckinghamshire.
Grace said: “When I arrived there she was, hiding in a thick bed of brambles - it was hard to reach her but thankfully I managed to safely catch her.
“She was in a bad way. The hook had gotten completely stuck into her beak and tangled around her wing, with the float still attached.
“She was put on a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication.
“She made a full recovery and was released back in the wild at the weekend. It is lucky she was found when she was as if she’d been found later, there would have been a chance that the injuries were fatal.”
Following the incident, the RSPCA is urging people to dispose properly of any fishing litter. Every year the charity receive thousands of calls relating to animals that are tangled in fishing line or have injuries from fishing litter.
The animal welfare charity asks people to take any unwanted fishing line home with them and cut it into pieces before throwing it away and asks anyone who may see discarded fishing litter to dispose of it.
Wildlife experts have also urged fishermen to use a bait box, never to leave baited tackle unattended and always to remove bait from the hook and put the tackle in a safe place.
Grace said: “This poor duck shows just how damaging discarded fishing litter can be for wildlife and the dangers it poses for animals. All we ask is that people take responsibility for their litter and dispose of it properly - and they could save a life.”
In an emergency you can contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.
To give a donation to the RSPCA you can text HELP to 78866 to give £3. (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message.)