I hear from Peter and Ellen earlier today, with the really bad news that the Swan that we had taken from Eastville Lake on Monday (see previous blog entry) had died during the night.
In Peter’s words – “Regrettably, during the night, the condition of the swan deteriorated, and he died.
Subsequent examination confirmed the presence of a small hook, weights and a length of line in the bird’s neck, and a very severely impacted gizzard. The swan had been taking food, but had deteriorated to the point where he was no longer able to digest it.
The existence of a problem was first brought to our attention in the early afternoon of Saturday 17th February. In view of what has since been discovered, the considered opinion of those who have been active in this field for decades is that had rescue been possible at this stage, it is still very unlikely the life of the bird could have been saved.”
On a personal note, having been to a friend’s funeral already today, I could have done without this. To borrow a phrase I’ve already seen once today, “The Swan leaves a mate and a number of young“.
And why? So some bloody “sportsman” (and I use the term quite wrongly), can enjoy outwitting, catching and tormenting small fish! Fish that he will not be eating. Fish that have a brain about the size of a lentil. But the mighty sportsman has outwitted the wild creature!
And in the process, one of these mighty sportsmen has discarded some tackle that has cost the life of a beautiful swan. I know that anglers claim that fish don’t feel pain when they end up with a hook in the face (or even further down the throat), and I’m sure that the fish really enjoys the chase just as much as the lentil brained sportsman does.
However, I’m not so sure that the swan, discarded tackle tearing its belly open from the inside, really enjoyed the experience.
Come on, fishermen! Increase the size of your lentil, and sit by the lake with a book instead of this lethal fishing tackle. And if you really can’t give up your unsociable habit, please take more care to ensure that you don’t leave discarded tackle behind.
This is just MY view – having donated a few days of my time in the last fortnight to “the cause”, and a tiny fraction of the time and expense that Peter and Ellen have put in during the same fortnight. And the last 35 years or so.
This stupid, needless death caused by carelessness and complacency offends and upsets me.
I wonder if I’ll be asked to tone it down?
Perhaps I can get some of the autopsy photos?