NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Orkney gannet put down after being skewered by homemade hook

X-ray of gannet
Image caption An X-ray of the bird found the hook had become deeply embedded in its neck

Wildlife officers are investigating after a gannet swallowed a homemade baited hook on an island in Orkney.

The sea bird was discovered by a member of the public on Puldrite Beach in Rendall on Tuesday with a nylon line and plastic bottle in its beak.

The line was attached to a hook which was embedded so far into the gannet's neck the bird had to be put down.

The Scottish SPCA believe the baited hook was designed to cause "deliberate harm".

Senior Inspector Mike Lynch said: "We know that the hook, line and bottle had been attached to the gannet for some time as the mouth injuries sustained by the nylon line were already healing.

"The bird would have been in a lot of pain, was unable to eat or fly and would eventually have starved to death if it hadn't been found."

Anyone with information about the incident has been urged to contact the Scottish SPCA or the police.

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