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Free as a bird after getting all caught up
9:00am Friday 4th October 2013 in News
ONE of the most important jobs the park rangers at Coate Water are responsible for is rescuing swans caught in fishing lines.
There are 12 pairs of swans on the 70-acre lake and they often they get caught up in the lines of anglers making use of the water.
A week ago, amateur photographer Kevin Stares was visiting the lake with his family when he spotted a signet which had been caught up in the line being rescued by one of the rangers.
He said: “As a keen photographer of wildlife I find it difficult to understand how there are still irresponsible people out there who discard fishing line.
“Surely as part of buying a fishing permit it should be the angler’s responsibility to report any loss of fishing line so at least the park rangers are aware.
“I am not against fishing as it is a great pastime for those who like angling.”
Kevin was walking along the banks of the lake when he spotted the ranger in the water by the nature reserve wall trying to reach a signet which was in distress.
He said: “The ranger had waders but could not reach the signet and was closely watching an adult swan who was cruising very close by.
“As the ranger could not reach the signet he took a further step into deeper water and although his waders started to fill up with water was able to grasp the fishing line that the signet had become entangled in.
“With a pull of the fishing line the signet rolled over twice and freed itself and started to swim away.”
Tom Murawicki, head ranger at Coate Water, said: “It doesn’t happen very often but sometimes we do have a spate of them.
“We do everything we can to rescue and protect animals and we save as many as we can but sometimes we do have to put the animal down. “We have to be realistic in what we can save and what we can’t. If we didn’t care we wouldn’t do it.
“We have a good relationship with our public here. Everyone comes here to enjoy the park and the wildlife, and have to take into account the animals and the wildlife.”
Swans are not the only things the rangers are releasing, as their autumn and winter programme of events is due out soon.
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