A pelican has a hook latched onto its beak (Photo: Wikimedia Commons).

The next time you feel like discarding your lines and hooks in the grass, think again.

According to Chron, last Monday, 14 severely injured Pelicans were found at Galveston’s Pier 19.

The birds were found to be injured by discarded fishing items, and were immediately transported to the Wildlife Centre of Texas for treatment.

There were also some pelicans found dead.

Executive director of the centre, Sharon Schmalz, said: “I’ve never seen this many pelicans at one time with hooks and line. The City of Galveston Police Department is investigating. I don’t think they suspect foul play, but it’s very unusual.”

The pelicans, who have hooks and line embedded in them, are currently getting medical aid from the staff members of the wildlife centre, with a veterinarian taking over cases where surgery is necessary.

Schmalz added that the injuries are especially damaging to the possibly weakened birds because it is currently the season when they are most prone to parasites.

This incident is a timely reminder for all anglers to practise responsible disposal of potentially hazardous trash.

While we may not have pelicans at our piers, this is a good habit to form as Singapore is home to many different wildlife species.

One way to be responsible is to pop your unwanted sharp hooks and tangled lines into used soda bottles (or cans) and throw them away when you find a bin.

This way, both the wild animals and waste collectors would have significantly reduced chances of getting injured.

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