A buzzard injured after she was found hanging by her wing from a fishing line and hook has been released back to the wild, thanks to the efforts of staff and volunteers at an RSPCA wildlife centre.
Staff at RSPCA Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre in Hastings nursed the injured bird of prey back to health after a kind-hearted member of the public discovered the buzzard in the Sandhurst area of Kent on December 6.
A vet at the centre removed the hook and wire from the bird, and thankfully an X-ray did not show any obvious injuries or fractures to her wing.
Her wing was very swollen and she had a wound, which was treated by veterinary staff.
She was cared for and monitored for a number of weeks to ensure there was no lasting damage that would prevent her from flying.
Simon Fathers, wildlife centre manager, said: “When this poor beautiful bird came into us we were all upset because her injuries could have easily been avoided if someone disposed of their fishing line correctly in the first place.
“We were very worried about her, but thankfully thanks to lots of rest and rehabilitation she recovered well enough to be released back to the wild.
“Although when we first opened the carrier to release her, she decided to play dead! But then after a few moments she spread her wings and flew away into the distance. It really is so rewarding to be able to release an animal back to the wild where they belong, and it is the reason we all love doing this job.
“Sadly we do see a number of birds being brought into us with these kind of injuries, although most are water birds such as swans or gulls.
“Most anglers do make the effort to retrieve and take home all their fishing line and tackle but sadly some are not so careful, which result in incidents like this.”
Simon said the centre was extremely grateful to the member of the public who went the extra mile to help save the bird.
They had to scramble through undergrowth to reach her, then find a tool to cut the wire, and he then took off his shirt to put around her and walk all the way back to his car in order to get help and bring her to the RSPCA.
For your own safety, the RSPCA does not recommend handling birds of prey.
If you do encounter a wild animal you think needs help, call the 24-hour emergency line on 0300 1234 999 or visit www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/injuredanimals.