A trapped Tawny Owl was very close to having its goose cooked in Scotland.
But it was rescued from the flue of a wood-burning stove thanks to the quick thinking of an Aberdeen homeowner — and heroics of the Scottish SPCA and local fire department.
“This was quite a tricky rescue and when I first arrived all I could see were the bird’s feet and some feathers sticking out of the wood burner,” Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Lynn Cruickshank said in a statement.
At first, the resident thought it was a hawk when the call came in for help last month.
“I managed to get hold of the bird and get them out of the flue but I couldn’t get them past the damper at the top of the stove,” Cruickshank added. “I then realized the bird was a tawny owl and too big to fit!”
That’s when they started to take parts off the stove. But even that wasn’t enough, and so, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was called in.
But they continued to struggle.
“Eventually it was agreed that we could break the seal around the stove and flue and remove the stove to free the owl. We’re so grateful to the member of the public for being so understanding and helpful,” Cruickshank continued.
“We were pleased to be able to help this magnificent bird and it’s great to know that it’s now back in the wild,” Watch commander Dennis Chalmers, based at North Anderson Drive Community Fire Station in Aberdeen, said in a statement.
“As a humanitarian organization our highly skilled crews answer a wide range of calls to help animals in distress across the country, often working with partners such as the Scottish SPCA,” he added. “Our support can prevent members of the public putting themselves in danger by attempting to do their own rescue.”
The SPCA thanked firefighters — and the public — for helping rescue the wayward bird.
“Thankfully the owl was unharmed from their adventure,” Cruickshank said. “The bird was checked over and given some food and water. They were then released back in to the wild none the worse for wear!”