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‘It seemed to know we were helping’ - Men rescue cygnet with fishing line in throat

PUBLISHED: 10:38 30 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:38 30 August 2020

Men rescued a cygnet with fishing line lodged in its throat at Rollesby Broad on August 27. Picture: Courtesy of Simon Crutchley.

Men rescued a cygnet with fishing line lodged in its throat at Rollesby Broad on August 27. Picture: Courtesy of Simon Crutchley.

Archant

A normal morning on the Broads was interrupted when a pair of men rescued a cygnet which had 18 inches of fishing line lodged in its throat.

A cygnet which had a fishing line through its beak was rescued at Rollesby Broad. Picture: Courtesy of Simon Crutchley.A cygnet which had a fishing line through its beak was rescued at Rollesby Broad. Picture: Courtesy of Simon Crutchley.

The drama began at 10am on Thursday (August 27), when Simon Crutchley, local wildlife enthusiast, was at the fishing platform on Rollesby Broad, where he usually feeds the young swans.

“I have fed them since they were small feathery fluffballs floating on the Broad,” the 54-year-old said.

One of the six cygnets, however, had a “large rubber fishing bait securely jammed in its beak”.

“It was not a pretty sight. His brothers and sisters pecked inquisitively at it, trying to understand what it was, and we watched from the platform in despair as the distressed cygnets tried to gently tug at the plastic fish to no avail,” Mr Crutchley said.

A cygnet which had a fishing line through its beak was rescued at Rollesby Broad. Picture: Courtesy of Simon Crutchley.A cygnet which had a fishing line through its beak was rescued at Rollesby Broad. Picture: Courtesy of Simon Crutchley.

The rescue mission began - a fisherman and his son using a keep net to land the young cygnet onto the platform and Mr Crutchely holding the bird down and straightening its neck.

“It never struggled, it seemed to know we were helping it out,” he said.

The men drew the line out of the cygnet’s throat and beak - and finally 18 inches of string, as well as the bait and the weight, lay on the platform.

They then lowered the cygnet back onto the Broad with its siblings.

A man rescued a cygnet which had a fishing line through its beak at Rollesby Broad. Picture: Courtesy of Simon Crutchley.A man rescued a cygnet which had a fishing line through its beak at Rollesby Broad. Picture: Courtesy of Simon Crutchley.

“It was looking no worse for wear, and it swam off gracefully full of fluffy feathery down blowing in the wind,” Mr Crutchely said.

The next morning he returned to the scene of the drama to see if all six cygnets appeared.

They did.

“It was a beautiful moment to see them all together and hungry for their breakfast, and knowing that without our interference one of these beautiful birds would not be there that day.” Mr Crutchely said.

A cygnet which had a fishing line through its beak was rescued at Rollesby Broad. Picture: Courtesy of Simon Crutchley.A cygnet which had a fishing line through its beak was rescued at Rollesby Broad. Picture: Courtesy of Simon Crutchley.

He added: “I just hope that from now on the irresponsible fisherman who was responsible for this atrocity will now clean up their discarded lures, lines and weights from their fishing areas.”

A cygnet which had a fishing line through its beak was rescued at Rollesby Broad. Picture: Courtesy of Simon Crutchley.A cygnet which had a fishing line through its beak was rescued at Rollesby Broad. Picture: Courtesy of Simon Crutchley.

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