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Gannets tangled in Moray Firth fishing nets rescued by Scottish SPCA and Coastguard

The rescue team in Burghead. Photo: Scottish SPCA
The rescue team in Burghead. Photo: Scottish SPCA

The Scottish SPCA saved two gannets with the help of the Coastguard after the birds became dangerously tangled in discarded fishing nets in Moray.

The birds were spotted on the shore at Burghead with the the animal welfare charity alerted.

Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer, Lynn Cruickshank, was on hand to help the gannets be set free from the netting, calling a Burghead coastguard over for assistance.

Despite the gannets being in the predicament they both swam off still stuck together, concerning Mrs Cruickshank that the birds would drown.

Mrs Cruickshank said: “We managed to get them on to the beach and I caught the birds with my net and wrapped them both in a towel, took control of the beaks and members of the coastguard team tried to cut them free.

Scottish SPCA and Coastguard helping a gannet tangled in fishing net at Burghead. Supplied by Scottish SPCA 

“The gannets were badly tangled in the discarded fishing netting. We started by separating them, then worked on getting their beaks free. It wasn’t as easy as we initially hoped it would be, as the net was really tight and we didn’t want to damage their beaks.

“Thankfully, we eventually managed to free the birds and I gave them a good check over. Apart from being a bit tired the gannets were fine, so I released them straight away, they both swam off and we all had a cheer!”

Colin Wood, senior coastal operations officer in north-east Scotland, said: “It was a slightly different call-out for us than normal, but we were glad to be able to help our colleagues from the Scottish SPCA on this rescue.

“Although our primary focus is on keeping people safe at the coast, most of us are also animal lovers and will always step in to help if we can.”

If anyone finds an injured animal, or an animal in distress, contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

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