A swan which was caught by wildlife rescuers in Burnham-On-Sea earlier this week has died after a battle to remove a fishing hook from the bird’s throat.

The male swan was put down after the vet operating on him realised the damage was too extensive for surgical repair.

The bird, a father to seven cygnets, was reported to the Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre by a member of the public, after it swallowed a fishing hook at Burnham’s Lakeside Holiday Park.

Secret World’s animal care manager Ellie West said he was given painkillers and medicine to reduce the swelling in his food pipe, but added: “He was obviously in a lot of pain and it was a case of trying to calm him down.”

Vet Liz Mullineaux carried out an x-ray which appeared to reveal the fishing hook was stuck in the bird’s food pipe.

However, a further x-ray revealed the hook had worked its way under the skin of the swan’s neck.

“It was in a big abscess full of food. The problem is that the tract that it has created just doesn’t heal. Much as I wanted to stitch it up, it wasn’t fair on the swan. I had no choice but to put him down,” she said.

“It’s so sad. We get so many of these cases, just because people don’t dispose of their fishing tackle properly.”

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