A heartbreaking find in a tree in northern NSW on Wednesday has prompted a wave of anger among locals after a magpie was spotted hanging upside down with its feet "tightly bound" by fishing line.
Simone, a resident from Brunswick Heads said she freed the bird from his "stuck position" high in the tree, but when he didn't fly off as she expected it would, she discovered the "sad" reason why.
"As it turns out freeing him from the tree was the somewhat easy part. On closer inspection, his feet were bound tightly in fishing line," she posted on Facebook. "With the help of some lovely neighbours, we did our best to cut the line away, but the sad reality is that the feet were pretty buggered."
The north coast woman said she rushed the magpie to the vet, but unfortunately, they couldn't save him, she told Yahoo News on Friday. Locals said the incident was "traumatic" and "terribly said" and condemned local anglers for the "thoughtless" dumping of fishing material.
Neglectful dumping is 'causing animals to suffer'
Simone said it's a recurring problem in the area and it's wreaking havoc on the wildlife — but it's happening elsewhere too.
Wildlife rescuer Katina said she's seen five separate instances in Sydney just this week and told Yahoo the issue of "neglectful dumping needs to be addressed". She said the simple act of leaving discarded fishing line around is "causing our animals to suffer", calling it an "extremely concerning" and common problem.
"It just gets tighter and tighter and tighter until their legs get necrotic and it just swells up and they can't walk," she explained.
Katrina said "about 10 per cent of my rescues are litter related," and in many cases, animals have to be euthanised. "It's really vicious," she added.
Aussies urged to 'be responsible' with fishing material
Previously a Gold Coast vet pleaded with anglers to be more responsible with their rubbish after a bird became entangled in loose fishing line and lost two toes as a result.
Dr Kevin Cruickshank told Yahoo it's "very frustrating and sad to see" fishing line dumped instead of being disposed of correctly and said loose line can become a "death trap" for marine mammals and birds.
Last month, a large turtle was rescued by Taronga Zoo vets after it had swallowed seven fishing hooks and had its "intestines pierced by fishing line. It comes as metres of fishing line was dumped across Sydney Harbour prompting desperate pleas from animal authorities.
Simone reminded locals of the damage "thoughtlessly discarded fishing line/nets (ghost gear) can do to our land and marine animals". "Regardless of our personal feelings [towards magpies], seeing this bird so helpless and realising the reality was really upsetting," she said.
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