January 17, 2018

We are reminding anglers to dispose of netting, lines and hooks after a crow was rescued after becoming entangled 25 foot high up a tree.

The crow was found entangled in the tree at Gaspard Place, Barry, on Friday (13 January).

RSPCA inspector Gemma Black said: “She was trapped in fishing line and was unable to get free. She was thrashing around upside down and must have been extremely distressed.”

South Wales Fire & Rescue Service attended and by using a hydraulic platform were able to get close enough to cut her free. She was then handed to inspector Black for an examination.

“I was able to cut the wire away which was tightly knotted around her neck,” said inspector Black. “She luckily didn’t have any wounds or injuries so she was immediately released.

“I’d like to thank the fire service who were brilliant, along with the caller who alerted us to this poor crow.

“This is a reminder of how damaging discarded fishing litter can be for wildlife. Most anglers make the effort to retrieve and take home all their fishing line and tackle but some are not so careful, which result in incidents like this.

“We urge people to think twice and please dispose of them correctly, as hooks and lines can cause horrific injuries to wildlife. With a little more thought and care the lives of animals will be saved.”

Mathias Maurer, who was out with his daughters Stefanie and Annabel, contacted the RSPCA after they spotted the crow in distress.

Mr Maurer said: “Huge thanks to the RSPCA telephone operators, Gemma and the fire service. Their professionalism was exemplary, and witnessing the rescue of the rook made this day special not just for Stefanie and Annabel, but for all of the spectators who happened to witness their skillful operation.”

Sadly many animals are injured by fishing litter (hooks, weights, line) which can cause injury and even death.

Line can wrap around necks causing deep wounds in flesh and cutting off the blood supply, hooks can pierce beaks or become embedded in skin, and weights can be swallowed causing internal injuries and blockages.

RSPCA tips to help tackle the problem include:

  • Taking unwanted fishing line home and cutting it into pieces before putting in the bin.

  • Being aware of surrounding trees – discarded line caught in foliage can entangle wildlife.

  • Don’t leave bait unattended – always remove from the hook and put it in a safe place.

  • Use a bait box – this will reduce the chances of leaving behind an empty bait tin by mistake.

  • Don’t leave hooks, weights or other paraphernalia behind.


There is a web page dedicated to fishing litter, please visit http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/litter/fishing

If you spot an animal in distress, please call the RSPCA’s 24-hour helpline on 0300 1234 999.