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Animal rescuer frees bird from a fix in her first week flying solo

28 Apr Animal rescuer frees bird from a fix in her first week flying solo

A newly trained RSPCA rescuer was delighted when she was able to rescue and release a jackdaw that was stuck in a chimney in a flat in Essex.

Animal Rescue Officer (ARO) Suzi Fothergill was called to the property in Cam Green, South Ockendon on 27 April, after a resident in one of the flats returned home from a night shift to the sound of a distressed bird, coming from her chimney.

The bird had fallen two storeys down the chimney from the roof, with no way of freeing himself, and was in urgent need of rescue.

Suzi, who recently completed her training as an ARO said: “When I arrived, the caller who lived in the flat showed me a video they had recorded where I could clearly hear the bird making a lot of noise, sounding very stressed and frightened, so I knew I’d need to act quickly to help him out, but I had no idea at this point the size or species of the bird.

“Unfortunately, with another two storeys above this particular flat, there was no way to reach the bird other than making a hole in the chimney breast, but luckily the caller was understanding enough to allow me to do this. I cut a small hole, approximately five inches, at the bottom of the wall so I could just get my hand inside and gently grasp the bird before lifting him out.

“I was very surprised when I saw the beautiful, bright-eyed jackdaw. He was a feisty little soul and very keen to be on his way, but I was relieved to see he was unharmed from the ordeal. I checked him over and found no injuries, so I offered him a little water as the chimneys are so dusty, and then I released him, which was the best feeling ever. It was a lovely way to end my first week as a newly-qualified rescue officer, and hopefully the first of many successful animal rescues.”

Jackdaws are known for nesting on the top of chimneys, so the RSPCA advises fitting a wire mesh guard or cowl to the top of the chimney to prevent them and other birds from becoming trapped.

If you are worried about an injured wild animal, you can contact the RSPCA’s emergency and advice line by calling 0300 1234 999.