Pelican hooked at Bridgewater

A PELICAN has suffered after catching a large hook in its beak and getting stuck in fishing line at the weekend.

Wildlife Rescue and Information Network shelter officer Lyn Waller got a call from a family late on Saturday night.

The family were camping at the Bridgewater Caravan Park on the Loddon River when they noticed a pelican struggling in the water.

"The (people) saw it swimming around and thought it was just caught in some fishing line," she said.

"When they looked closer they could see it was more than that.

"He has lost weight because he won't eat - he should be eight to 10 kilograms.

"I've never seen one hurt as much as this before.

"It appears as though there is some sort of large fishing weight stuck in his wing as well.

"He is really distressed."

Ms Waller said she had rushed to Bridgewater early on Sunday morning to pick up the pelican.

She then rushed to the White Hills Animal Hospital where veterinarian Murray Cordell operated on the pelican.

She believed the pelican had been injured for at least 24 hours.

"We often pick up swans but I have dealt with five or so pelicans in a similar situation to this one," she said.

"It's a real issue that we are trying to address but it is really hard.

"A lot of people don't understand."

To report an injured wild animal, call Ms Waller on 0419 356 433, 24 hours a day.