Heron recovering after getting caught on pike fishing lure

The heron is operated on by vets at East Winch Picture: RSPCA

The heron is operated on by vets at East Winch Picture: RSPCA - Credit: Archant

A heron with the treble hook of a fishing lure caught under his beak is being cared at an animal hospital.

The bird is now recovering at the RSPCA's East Winch Wildife Centre Picture: RSPCA

The bird is now recovering at the RSPCA's East Winch Wildife Centre Picture: RSPCA - Credit: Archant

An RSPCA inspector was called to Billingford, near Diss, after the bird was spotted by concerned members of the public, who managed to catch it.

Inspector Jon Knight attended and removed the lifelike soft plastic lure, which was weighing the bird down.

But as the hooks still remained he took him to the RSPCA’s East Winch Wildlife Centre, where vets gave him anaesthetic so they could then carefully remove the hooks.

Alison Charles, centre manager at East Winch, said: “This poor bird was in a lot of trouble and was found well away from rivers, lakes or any water. We are grateful to the members of the public who helped him.

The bird with the treble hook caught under its bill Picture: RSPCA

The bird with the treble hook caught under its bill Picture: RSPCA - Credit: Archant


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“He must have thought the float was a fish, as it is so realistic but sadly, it is a triple pike hook - which has three hooks with three barbs on each hook.

“The inspector who rescued the heron removed the rubber fish as it was weighing the bird down, but once the heron came to us he needed an anaesthetic to gently remove the hooks. The bird is recovering in a warm, quiet cubicle, on antibiotics and we will wait to see how he does.”

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The heron will remain at the centre until he has completely recovered and can then be released back to the wild.

The RSPCA says most anglers are very responsible when disposing of their litter, but it only takes one careless person to endanger the life of an animal.

The soft rubber lure which the heron had become caught up on Picture: RSPCA

The soft rubber lure which the heron had become caught up on Picture: RSPCA - Credit: Archant

It asks all those who enjoy fishing to join the Angling Trust’s Take 5 campaign and make use of the Anglers National Line Recycling scheme to dispose of their waste tackle and line.

All sorts of fishing litter can cause problems. Line can wrap around necks causing deep wounds in flesh and cutting off the blood supply, hooks can pierce beaks, become embedded in skin or get caught in the bird’s throat and weights can be swallowed causing internal injuries and blockages.

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