Anger at death of young swan

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Murdoch - Natalie Naz­zari

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.

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