A GULL was rescued at Chippenham Railway station after getting trapped in fishing line, seven metres off the ground.

The RSPCA and Dorset &Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service used a cherry picker to reach the gull which was tangled in fishing line that had become caught around the top of a lamp post on September 5,

RSPCA inspector Ian Burns said: “A member of the public had spotted the trapped gull and contacted us.

“We’re very grateful to the Fire Service for their support in saving the trapped bird. After being released we were able to rehabilitate the gull before releasing him back into the wild.

“The RSPCA would strongly urge those who enjoy fishing to be extra cautious when packing up to make sure no litter is left behind. Most anglers are very responsible when disposing of their litter, but it only takes one careless person to endanger the life of an animal.

“All sorts of litter can cause problems, line can wrap around necks causing deep wounds in flesh and cutting off the blood supply, hooks can pierce beaks, become embedded in skin or get caught in a bird's throat, and weights can be swallowed causing internal injuries and blockages.

“Unfortunately, gulls, ducks, swans and geese are commonly admitted to our wildlife centres as a result of being entangled in, swallowing, or being injured by, fishing litter.

“If any member of the public sees discarded fishing litter we would encourage them to pick it up and put it in the bin as they may just save an animals life. Deaths to mammals and birds from raging infections inflicted by discarded fishing hooks or from deep wounds where plastic has cut into their body are frequently seen by the RSPCA. Strangulation by old fishing line is a common cause of death.”

Last year the RSPCA rescued 678 animals who had become trapped in litter in 2017.

If you see an animal in distress call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. For more information on what to do if you find an injured wild animal, visit the RSPCA website at: www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/injuredanimals.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give