Rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) and the RSPCA rallied to save an injured duck at Pells Pond in Lewes yesterday.
The male mallard duck had a fishing hook embedded in its upper beak and attached to its chest, meaning it was not able to eat properly, nor fly properly.
Members of the public made numerous calls to WRAS and the RSPCA and initial attempts to catch the duck failed.
Two veterinary ambulances from East Sussex WRAS attended with six rescuers at 11.30am.
Trevor Weeks, MBE founder of East Sussex WRAS, said: “We tried a couple of attempts to get the duck at one end of the pond, but it just about managed to fly past us each time.
"Further attempts were made to catch the duck on the islands or in the narrow channel at the side of the islands but the duck refused to be caught. I knew the only way we were going to catch the duck was to get in the water.
"Unfortunately I had left my dry suit behind so I had to get in and get wet, but luckily having been in the pond numerous times on rescues I was well aware of the substrate.”
The RSPCA provided additional help in the water, Trevor said. With a team of three people in the water and numerous people on the bank, the duck was corralled at one end and Trevor managed to catch it in a net.
“There was no way either the RSPCA or WRAS on their own would have been able to catch the duck, and both WRAS and the RSPCA were really pleased to help each other out and end up with successful rescue,” said Trevor.
“This was a great bit of team work between us all. I was able to cut the hook to relieve the pressure on the ducks beak and chest.”
Back at WRAS’s Casualty Centre at Whitesmith, vet Chris Hall from Henley House Vets in Uckfield examined the duck and was safely able to remove the embedded section of hook in the chest.
Katie Nunn Nash, lead casualty manager at WRAS, said: "We are pleased with the ducks condition and after some antibiotics it should make a complete recovery.”