Swan With Neck Swelling Size Of Tennis Ball From Lead Cannot Be Saved

Vets have been unable to help this poor swan left with a growth the size of a tennis ball after lead fishing weights got wrapped around its neck and ended up absorbed into its body when the skin swelled and grew around them.

The tragic incident played out when animal rescuers from the Pfotenhilfe shelter caught the swan at Lake Wallersee in Austria after receiving numerous reports over the years about the swelling and the swan’s neck.

But when vet Daniel Eschlboeck made x-ray scans of the captured bird, believing that they were fish hooks stuck in the neck that he intended the remove endoscopically, he was shocked to discover the real reason.


Instead of fishing hooks, Eschlboeck discovered that the real problem was lead weights that when wrapped around the bird’s neck had caused it to swell, with the weights and tackle then sinking into the swollen flesh and eventually surrounding it.

The end result was that the weights were already completely surrounded by tissue.

Pfotenhilfe head of legal and public relations Juergen Stadler said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “After consulting a bird expert, the weights were not removed because the risk would have been too great and the swan was not significantly affected by the swelling.”

The swan was thus released at the lake so that it could reunite with its family on Friday, 20th October.

However the prognosis for this one is ultimately not good as although it does not seem to be suffering from the swelling, the lead in the body will eventually kill it.

Stadler said: “Lead in the body leads to gradual poisoning, which is why there have been discussions about banning lead for many years.

Image shows a scan of the swan at Lake Wallersee, in Austria, undated photo. It has a neck swelling the size of a tennis ball from having swallowed lead weights. (Pfotenhilfe/Newsflash)

“Pfotenhilfe has also been calling for a ban for a long time.

“Just like with hunting, because birds of prey eat prey contaminated with lead shot, but water and soil are also poisoned.

“Another problem that Pfotenhilfe continually struggles with is fish hooks that are swallowed by waterfowl or stuck in their beaks or feet, which cause painful wounds, that can weaken or even kill them.”

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Georgina JadikovskaSub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency:  Newsflash

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