Warning after gannet found with plastic wrapped around leg in Seaford

A wildlife rescue team came to the aid of a gannet which was found in Seaford with orange plastic wrapped around its leg.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 1:45 pm
The gannet after the plastic was cut away

The East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) received a call on Thursday afternoon about a bird on the breakwater at Splashpoint Seaford entangled in possible fishing line.

WRAS rescuers Lisa Turner and Sandra Furner attended in one of WRAS’s Veterinary Ambulances, but were unable to find the gannet on or around the breakwater or beach.

As they were leaving, Seaford WRAS received another call, locating the gannet in one of the gardens just up on the cliff above Splash Point.

There they found the bird with orange plastic – possibly some form of netting – wrapped round one leg.

Rescuers used nets to catch the bird, which squawked in protest before they were able to load it into a large cage and transport him to WRAS Casualty Centre at Whitesmith.

At the centre, Lead Casualty Manager Katie Nunn Nash handled the gannet, being careful of its sharp beak and also avoiding blocking it airway by holding the beak closed.

She was able to cut the plastic away from the right ankle.

The team was able to cut away the material

There was a small amount of damage to the foot – but this was very minor.

The bird was slightly underweight and would certainly have had problems catching fish.

After being weighed, he was treated to some fish.

The gannet will be monitored at WRAS’s centre and released once the Care Team feel he is ready.

A spokesman said: “WRAS is urging those who use the beaches and sea to be careful with when discarding plastic or netting and is asking anyone who walks along the beach to pick up any discarded netting or line and remove it safely from the beach.”