A TAWNY owl rescued by firefighters earlier this week has been released back into the wild.
The owl was trapped in a fishing line and suspended by his wing above the river behind the supermarket in Emscote Road.
One fire engine from Leamington attended at 10.20am on Monday and arrived to find the owl trapped three metres above the water, and liaised with the RSPCA.
The bird was found hanging about eight feet over the River Leam and the RSPCA were called but due to his precarious position it was impossible to rescue him without specialist help.
Rescue boats arrived and the crews used inflatable walkways to reach the owl and used a specialist hook devised by firefighters and by 11.30am it had been freed.
by 11.30 it had been released in the care of the RSCPA.
The male owl was taken to vets and remarkably had not sustained any major injuries to his wing. After spending a couple of nights with a specialist wild bird carer in Warwickshire, the bird was successful released back to the wild.
RSPCA animal collection officer Ian Pethick said: “All incidents we attend where we have to rescue distressed wild birds caught up in fishing line are entirely unnecessary.
“The fear and suffering this beautiful bird endured could have been so easily avoided if the fishing line had been safely disposed of.
“I would appeal to people that go fishing to please take their litter home with them at the end of the day.
“There are dangerous consequences for wildlife when litter is casually dropped or discarding on the streets.
“This tawny owl could so easily have suffered a broken wing which would have been devastating news. The fact that he became trapped in such a public place, behind a busy supermarket, probably saved his life.
He did suffer some bruising to the shoulder but otherwise was strong and healthy.
“We were keen to release him back to the wild as soon as possible as owls are very territorial and will be pairing up at this time of year. This might explain why the owl was so vocal while he was in care.”
Anyone that witnesses wildlife in distress can call the RSPCA national cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 99