Fears for swans after dam fatality

NDET 22-8-12 MC 6'Animal lover Linda Shipley warns against the danger of fishing tackle to swans at Walton Dam after she rescued a cygnet with a float down its throat.

NDET 22-8-12 MC 6'Animal lover Linda Shipley warns against the danger of fishing tackle to swans at Walton Dam after she rescued a cygnet with a float down its throat.

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A BIRD lover is urging anglers to be more careful with discarded tackle after a cygnet was left so badly injured by a float stuck in its throat that it has died.

Linda Shipley, of Walton Road, Walton, Chesterfield, discovered the baby swan struggling this month at nearby Walton Dam where she feeds the swans as she walks her pet dog.

She said: “Horrific injuries are being caused to swans and cygnets by fishing hooks and floats. I was shocked to find this poor cygent and rescued it from the field at the side of Walton Dam.

“It had obviously been in a great deal of distress for some days as it was too weak to stand so I took it to Spire Vets for emergency treatment.”

An x-ray confirmed the cygnet had swallowed a float which had punctured its oesophagus leaving the bird starving and unable to swallow food.

Linda added: “The vet operated and removed the float and the cygnet was put on a drip overnight and it was returned to its family the next day and it was feeding itself so it was well enough to be returned to its family.

“I returned it as instructed, and after watching it for a while it seemed to have suffered no ill effects and the other birds seemed happy to accept it back.

“But sadly someone saw the other cygnets pecking at it and it was taken back to the vet’s again, but unfortunately it died. This was a very distressing outcome.”

Linda is continuing to monitor the area to ensure the remaining swans and cygnets stay safe but she is warning anglers that they need to make sure they reel in their lines if the birds come anywhere near their floats.