RSPCA officials are searching for a cruel fisherman who may have deliberately cast a barbed spinner at a swan.
The hooks were embedded in the swan’s neck and had to be cut away by city RSPCA inspector Dave Braybrooke.
“It took us three days to catch the swan on Caldecotte Lake, but eventually we managed to grab her and get the hooks out,” said Dave.
The creature, which was in pain and a state of shock, was kept warm with a special jacket while the delicate operation was performed.
After an injection of antibiotics she was released back on to the lake to be reunited with her partner. It is hoped the young pair will breed next year. Dave is satisfied the swan’s wound will heal well, but he is still worried about the welfare of other wildlife on the lake.
Residents have told him they saw a fisherman deliberately casting his line in the direction of the swan in a bid to stop it eating bait scattered for the fish.
Added Dave: “Certainly the spinner was not embedded in a place where the swan would naturally have picked it up while feeding. So I am inclined to believe that sadly this is true.”
He is reminding all fishermen that it is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to harm a swan or any other protected wild creature.
“Certainly if I get proof I would not hesitate to prosecute and take the offender to court,” he vowed.