The RSPCA has issued a warning to anglers after following news that had to be put to sleep after it became caught up in fishing waste left at a lake on Wearside.

Firefighters from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service attended Silksworth Lake off North Moor Lane in Sunderland on December 28 following reports of a trapped bird on an island.

The bird, which was a female gull, was found with an angling line and a weight wrapped around her beak and wing.

The Northern Echo: The rescue of the bird in Sunderland.The rescue of the bird in Sunderland. (Image: RSPCA)

Volunteers had already tried to rescue the bird, which was sinking due to the fishing line but firefighters called by the RSPCA reached the bird in a dinghy.

However, it was discovered the birds injuries were too severe and RSPCA volunteers say the "kindest thing to do" was to put her to sleep.

The Northern Echo: The gull.The gull. (Image: RSPCA)

RSPCA inspector Helen Bestwick, who attended the incident, said: “There was a large amount of fishing line weight and line wrapped around this poor bird who had suffered a badly broken wing.

“This again demonstrates how important it is that angler’s take every means possible to dispose of lines and tackle and prevent them from turning into lethal litter for wildlife on our waterways.”

The Northern Echo: The gull.The gull. (Image: RSPCA)


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This incident is just months after the RSPCA received a call to the same lake in Sunderland where a young cygnet was found with a fishing hook in its leg.

Following a trip to the vet, the bird was reunited with its family. 

The RSPCA says anglers should make use of the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme to dispose of waste tackle and line.