A SEAGULL caused a bit of a flap after swallowing a fishing hook which became stuck in its throat.
The Great Black Backed Gull, the largest seagull, was rescued from the beach at Hastings by RSPCA volunteers from Mallydams Wood wildlife centre.
A X-ray showed the greedy bird had devoured the two inch long piece of sharp metal which became lodged in its throat.
After a delicate operation to remove the object the bird successfully recovered after 10 days of recuperation and tender, loving care from the volunteers at the centre.
The bird was released back into the wild last month.
Every year, hundreds of animals come into RSPCA centres with serious and often fatal injuries caused by fishing tackle which has not been properly disposed of.
Line wraps around necks causing deep wounds in flesh, hooks pierce beaks and weights are swallowed causing internal injuries and blockages.
Richard Thompson, wildlife centre co-ordinator for Mallydams, said: “It’s horrible to see the extent of the damage a carelessly discarded bit of litter can do.
“This poor bird had the hook completely jammed in its throat and would not have survived had he not been brought to us.
“Of course, most anglers are extremely responsible and dispose of their litter properly.
“But all it takes is one person who does not think before they throw fishing litter aside and an animal’s life is in danger.” For more information about protecting animals from litter visit www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/helpandadvice/litter/ or call the centre on call us on 0300 123 0723.