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Owl rescued from wood burning stove in Aberdeen

a tawny owl sitting on a perch on a towel

We successfully rescued an owl who was trapped in the flue of a wood burning stove in Hazlehead, Aberdeen.

We were alerted to the incident when a member of public called our animal helpline to report what they thought was a hawk trapped in their wood burner at an address on Macaulay Park on 10 October.

Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer, Lynn Cruickshank, said, “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.

“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. I then realised the bird was a tawny owl and too big to fit!

a Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer holds an owl's feet as it is trapped in a chimney flue

“With the member of the public’s permission and the help of their friend, we started to take parts off the stove to see if we could free the owl.

“Unfortunately after a while we were still really struggling so I called the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for assistance. They attended but also struggled to find a way to free the bird.

“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.

three members of Scottish fire and rescue service look up the chimney of a wood burning stove with a torch

“It was also fantastic to have assistance from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to allow us to complete the rescue successfully.

“Thankfully the owl was unharmed from their adventure. 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!

“If anyone finds an injured animal, or an animal in distress, please don’t hesitate to contact our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”

Watch commander Dennis Chalmers, based at North Anderson Drive Community Fire Station in Aberdeen, said: "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.

"As a humanitarian organisation 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.

"Our support can prevent members of the public putting themselves in danger by attempting to do their own rescue."




If anyone is concerned about an animal, please do not hesitate to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

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