A HERRING gull became caught on a fishing hook after a baited rod was left unattended on an open boat on a beach.

The incident happened at Lower Gate Street, Conwy.

The gull flew down to eat the peeler crab bait and subsequently became trapped by his throat.

The bird tried to escape, but was unable to and the fishing hook dug deeper into his throat as he tried to struggle free.

The situation was made more precarious for the gull with the tide also due in.

Fortunately, RSPCA inspector Andrew Broadbent came to the rescue and was able to take pressure off the fishing line.

The hook was then safely removed from the gull's throat.

Inspector Broadbent said: "This herring gull was horribly trapped in a fishing boat, moored at Conwy Quay. The bird was caught by his throat, and with the tide due in, this was a really horrible situation.

"We were able to free the gull - but many birds and other wildlife trapped by fishing line or hooks are not so fortunate.

"We're just relieved this particular incident had a happy ending.

"It beggars belief that a rod fully baited with peeler crab was left attended like this. It posed a real danger to surrounding wildlife, as this poor herring gull found out."

The incident happened on May 15.

RSPCA Cymru has since issued a reminder about the importance of responsible angling.

Recreational fishing activity is expected to increase in Wales amid an easing of Covid-19 restrictions; The Welsh Government confirmed that socially-distanced fishing is allowed under regulations previously passed into law, and with people now allowed to exercise more than once a day.

Inspector Broadbent added: "We know most anglers are very responsible but with fishing activity likely to increase with more exercise allowed, we urge those fishing to follow the Angling Trust's take five campaign and make use of the recycling scheme to dispose of their waste tackle and line.

"Small steps like this can help prevent animal suffering."

The take five campaign focuses on the idea that anglers take five items of litter, or take five minutes, to remove any litter after fishing.