Warning over stricken bird in Linlithgow

A cormorant
A cormorant

The Scottish SPCA is urging fishermen to clear their rubbish after being alerted to a cormorant who was attached to a tree after swallowing fishing line tangled round a branch in Linlithgow Loch.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity received a call to their animal helpline on 28 March after a member of public became concerned that the bird was at risk of hanging itself on the line.

Scottish SPCA Animal Rescue Officer Connie O’Neil said, “Thankfully I was able to go out on a canoe with a member of the public to rescue the cormorant.

“The poor bird had swallowed a fishing hook and it had been pulling at his insides so he was really struggling. It was very lucky that someone spotted him and alerted us when they did as he would have been suffering greatly.

“After rescuing him from the tree I realised he also had a broken wing, which was caused by his struggle to get away. Unfortunately due to the extent of his injuries and suffering, he was put to sleep.

“The vast majority of fishermen are very responsible and take care to clear away their equipment after they’ve used it. However we want to remind anyone fishing not to leave their litter as they could kill wildlife by doing so.”

Anyone concerned about the welfare of an animal should contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.