Anger at death of young swan
DESPITE the placement of fishing line and tackle disposal units along the river foreshore, a cygnet has died after swallowing discarded fishing line.
Looking distressed, the baby swan was captured by locals Maureen O’Neill and Marilyn Fowler, who rushed it to the Murdoch Pet Emergency Centre (MPEC).
Mrs O’Neill said the cygnet was one of two baby swans in the area loved and known by residents.
“I think it’s devastating,” she said. “I really wonder if it’s necessary for fishing to be allowed in this area.
“There’s a lot of wildlife here, which is at risk every time they go in to the water.”
Six riverfront councils have joined a fishing line and tackle disposal campaign with the Swan River Trust and partners.
As part of the campaign, councils install units at popular recreational fishing locations throughout the Riverpark.
The City of South Perth has installed four units along the foreshore, including under the Narrows Bridge, at the South Perth foreshore jet ski area and near the Coode Street carpark boat ramp. The Town of Victoria Park is not participating but will consider it in future.
Zoology and conservation biology student Bronny Read (20) runs around the foreshore.
The Darling Range Wildlife Shelter volunteer said she was disappointed wildlife paid the ultimate price because litter was not disposed of properly.
“It made me cry; I’ve seen the swans grow up,” Ms Read said.
“It’s our own fault with people being so careless; it’s just a simple thing that could have been prevented.”
MPEC veterinarian supervisor Jill Griffiths said fishing line hanging from the cygnet’s mouth was unable to be removed with gentle traction.
“The hook had broken into three pieces, with the piece the line was attached to lodged sideways across the intestine,” Dr Griffiths said.
“Surgery to remove the hook was started, however during surgery, it was discovered that the hook had perforated the intestine and the swan had a severe infection of the abdominal cavity.
“This meant that the swan had very little chance of survival, so the sad decision to euthanase on humane grounds was made.”
■ If you see injured birdlife, call the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055 or Western Australian Seabird Rescue on 0418 952 683.