Anglers are being asked to be more careful when discarding rubbish when fishing after a swan was left injured.
The male swan has been nesting at Crowland Wildlife Pond for a few weeks with his mate and their cygnets, but was left needing an operation after he swallowed a fishing hook.
The RSPCA made two attempts to catch the male swan over two days and managed to catch him after an hour on the second day.
Phillip Green, who found the swan, said: “I noticed a few days ago that the swan had a long length of fishing line dragging behind him and coming from his mouth, and he was getting caught in the reeds.
“It was clear that he was struggling a bit so I called the RSPCA.”
When the swan was eventually removed from the water, he was taken to the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre in Norfolk where he needed an energency operation to remove the hook and line from his throat.
Phillip said: “He was extremely distressed but had they not taken him away he would have died.
“Once they have carried out the operation he will need a few days to recover and then, hopefully, will be able to go back to his family in Crowland.
“However, as of Monday he’s not been returned and we’re starting to fear the worst as we haven’t heard back to see how he is doing.”
The swan’s female mate is also said to be distressed without her mate and is cutting a solemn figure.
Phillip said that a message should be put out to anglers about the dangers of discarding fishing hooks on river banks.
He said: “It’s really good to see such a range of men and women enjoying the fishing on Crowland Lake, but it’s such a pity that there always has to be one careless person.
“Anyone fishing needs to be ultra careful when discarding tackle.
“This swan obviously picked up the hook when he was trying to find some food on the bank and he really could have died had we not found him when we did.
“It is so important not to leave litter or unwanted fishing tackle by the side of rivers for this exact reason.”