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December 2, 2006
Injured cygnet helped by rescuers from BARB and Secret World

An injured cygnet which had swallowed a metre-long length of rope has been helped by a team of rescuers from Secret World and the Burnham-On-Sea hovercraft group.

Highbridge-based Secret World Wildlife Centre contacted BARB, the charity that runs the hovercraft, for help when the distressed bird was spotted with a length of thick twine hanging from its mouth on a lake at Dunball Wharf, near Bridgwater.

BARB's inshore lifeboat was taken by road to the lake and launched with three crew members onboard in a bid to retrieve the injured bird.

Secret World's Ellie West said: "After several minutes trying to capture the cygnet, we managed to retrieve him and could see that it had swallowed a long length of bailer twine. Without wanting to hurt the bird and cause it any distress, we took straight it to our vets, Quantock Veterinary Hospital in Bridgwater, who anaesthetised the bird and used a special endoscopy camera to see how far the twine had gone."

"Sadly, the bird had swallowed the whole line of twine, about a metre in all, and this had got severely caught around its rib cage, causing it some considerable damage internally. The twine is quite rough, especially to soft internal organs."

"Sadly, the bird has had to be put down, but at least with BARB's help it is no longer suffering."

BARB has been involved in several animal rescues in recent years; helping swans at Apex Leisure Park at Combwich, and two dogs trapped in mud at Brean in July 2004.


September 2006 rescue of a swan at Combwich

July 2006 rescue of a swan at Combwich Lake

Official BARB Web site home page


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