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Swan Surgery Success

30 June 2014

A wild swan brought into Melbourne Zoo yesterday afternoon by a Wildlife Victoria carer was treated successfully and then released back to its home on the Yarra, near the Melbourne University boatshed.

A fishing hook was stuck in its neck. 

Fortunately the hook was on the outside of the swan’s neck; it had not been swallowed, which is very likely to cause internal injuries.

Zoo Vet Dr. Meg Curnick anaesthetised the swan and was able to remove the hook, close the wound, and provide pain relief plus a long lasting antibiotic to prevent future infection.

The swan was also X-rayed to ensure that it had not previously swallowed other hooks.

Wildlife Victoria carer Jacki Burns returned the swan to the river, where it rejoined the other swans in its group.

Swans living in close proximity to people are especially vulnerable to injuries from debris in the water, and hooks and lines are a serious threat to their welfare.

Feeding swans can put them into danger, by making them too comfortable around people, especially in areas where people are fishing, so the swans become more vulnerable to entanglement injuries.