A wildlife protection group has saved a herring gull that became entangled in a crabbing line in the River Arun.
Jaine and Simon Wild from West Sussex Wildlife Protection were called to a stretch of river opposite Littlehampton pier on Sunday by a holidaymaker who spotted the bird in distress in the riverbed during low tide.
At around 8pm, the husband and wife duo carried out a daring rescue which saw Jaine holding her husband’s legs while he dangled off the harbour wall to grab the bird below with a 10ft-long pole and net. Jaine, from Felpham, warned people not to leave their crabbing or fishing lines in the water.
She said: “The poor bird had it around its neck, strangling him, around his wings so he could not fly and around his feet, and he was weighed down by a plastic bag filled with bacon. If the tide came in, he would have drowned.”
Jaine admitted it was one of their more daring rescues, and they ‘had quite an audience’ watching them.
She said: “Someone shouted to us ‘no chance’ when we tried to reach him with the net. I thought: ‘no, we are definitely going to save this one’.”
They removed the line from around the gull and checked it was not injured before releasing it into the wild.