Firefighters were called to rescue an owl called Santa – which got stuck in a CHIMNEY.
Homeowners Ron and Sheilagh Humphreys called in experts after the tawny got trapped overnight and was unable to free itself.
Bird handlers used a chimney sweep brush to gently push the bird to the top of the stack, where firefighters were waiting to pull it to safety.
Relieved Ron, 67, said: “We were all elated when they finally got him out. It was such a relief because it had been stuck in there for some time.
“It was magnificent bird and we’re just glad it didn’t have any lasting injuries.”
Retired businessman Ron and Sheilagh were pottering in their kitchen in Wellow near Bath, Somerset, when they first heard the bird hooting at 5pm last Thursday.
They thought nothing of it until they went to bed at 10pm and noticed hooting had not stopped and was becoming more desperate.
Ron contacted the Hawk and Owl Trust, which recommended he contact local rescue charity Secret World Wildlife Rescue based in east Huntspill, Somerset.
The following morning Roger Lucken – a response driver and experienced bird handler – was dispatched to the scene and called for assistance from the fire brigade.
Roger gently pushed the creature to the top of the three-story chimney and firefighters were waiting to bundle it into a container at around 11am on Friday.
Apart from a lot of soot in its eyes and filthy fur, the 10-inch tall bird was unharmed.
It is now being cared for by staff at Secret World – who have nicknamed it ‘Santa’ – and it is expected to be released back into the wild in the next few weeks.
Roger, who is also a Trustee of the charity, said: “We canâ€™t thank the team from Bath Fire Brigade enough for their prompt response.
“Santa will be returning with me to Secret World for some rest and a bath but we are hoping to return him to the wild before Christmas.”
Care Manager Sara Cowan of Secret World said: “Santa is the third tawny owl rescue from a chimney in the last two weeks.
“We rely on public support for our work and are so grateful for all the donations we receive, especially during the winter months.”