On 15th August 2009, Ben Lee sent in an images of a Barn Owl (Tyto alba) hanging from a discarded fishing line (above left): “A real pitiful sight of a Barn Owl killed as it was trapped by a fishing line in a tree near Punggol Jetty recently. Understand that it was alive for a long while but many people who saw it do not know who to call for help and ended up leaving the poor bird dangling till its last breath.
“Hope those who are into fishing be more accountable and aware of the danger of discarding fishing line or nets left in a tree as it may trap and endanger many wild birds and other wildlife as well.”
On 20th August, barely a week later, Ben sent in another image of a Little Heron (Butorides striatus), similarly strangled, with a note: “Another pitiful sight of a Little Heron hung by the neck till death by a discarded fishing line left on a tree. Picture (above right) shows a decomposed skeletal remain, still with feather. Hope fishing enthusiasts will be more responsible in discarding their disused or unwanted fishing lines or net.”
These two are the fifth and sixth birds strangled by discarded fishing lines we have posted so far – see below.
Images provided by Ben Lee of Nature Trekker Singapore
Victor Lee & Gloria Chay
Just read your blog about the Barn-owl that was caught on a fishing line. I noted that the writer said the bird was still alive when first sighted but didn’t know who to call. Perhaps you can spread the word… that in a situation like that, they call always call the SPAC (24hrs), staff of Sungei Buloh or even myself to inform us.
If the bird requires veterinary care, they can bring it to Gloria at Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic North. We have the Ken de la Motte Bird Rehabilition Fund at Sungei Buloh which can help nurse and rehab them before release.
At the very least, if the bird is too badly injured, Gloria can humanely put it down rather than let it starve to death.
Is there any way the message could be spread, for example in fishing forums, or even through fishing equipment shops ?
I frequent your website and have seen so many images on your website of birds being killed due to irresponsibly discarded fishing lines. Maybe I am not looking in the right places, but there don’t seem to be any responses from fishing enthusiasts expressing regret or sadness. How else can we drive the message home ?
We are in communication with a group of concerned anglers who are working with the relevant government agencies to deal with the problem – mostly behind the scene.
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