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Tawny owl rescued from A12 by Suffolk police officer released into the wild

PUBLISHED: 18:00 23 May 2018

Pc Carlo Di Franco releases the tawny owl  back into the wild.  Left to right: Pc Nicola Burnham-Slipper, Katrina Myers and Pc Carlo Di Franco   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Pc Carlo Di Franco releases the tawny owl back into the wild. Left to right: Pc Nicola Burnham-Slipper, Katrina Myers and Pc Carlo Di Franco Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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The owl, who is thought to be a male, was found at the beginning of May having been hit by a car on the A12 southbound toward Seven Hills.

Up, up and away ... the owl heads back into the wild  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNUp, up and away ... the owl heads back into the wild Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The owl, who is thought to be a male, was found at the beginning of May, having been hit by a car on the A12 southbound toward Seven Hills.

Pc Carlo Di Franco spotted the bird along with his colleague Pc Nicola Burnham-Slipper whilst the pair were out on mobile patrol at around 2am.

The owl, was in the middle of lane two, the fast lane.

“It’s quite normal for me and my colleagues to see dead badgers and deers,” said Mr Di Franco.

Pc Carlo Di Franco releases the tawny owl watched by Nicola Burnham-Slipper and Katrina Myers   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPc Carlo Di Franco releases the tawny owl watched by Nicola Burnham-Slipper and Katrina Myers Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mr Di Franco and his colleague doubled back on themselves and returned to the bird wearing heavy duty gloves.

He said: “When we pulled up to it, it wasn’t moving. When I picked him up he was very subdued.”

Pc Carlo Di Franco with the tawny owl he rescued  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPc Carlo Di Franco with the tawny owl he rescued Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mr Di Franco used to rear aviary birds and so had some experience when it came to handling the bird.

“I have always been an animal lover,” said Mr Di Franco.

The officers took the owl to a local vet’s surgery in Melton, from where it was transferred to Colchester Owl Rescue where Katrina Myers took in the bird to help with its recovery.

She said: “It was concussed and had been hit by a vehicle.”

The bird, thought to be a juvenile aged around two or three years old was given pain relief and had to be force-fed while still in its concussed state.

Four days later the bird was able to feed itself and began to recover from its ordeal.

Mrs Myers runs the charity largely from her and her mother’s home’s and usually rescues wild birds from Essex but admits she has travelled to help collect injured creatures.

“If somebody calls me I won’t refuse help,” said Mrs Myers.

“Katrina has been really lovely,” said Mr Di Franco, “giving me updates.”

The owl was taken on Tuesday night to Brightwell, where it was released back into the wild.

Mrs Myers has advice for anyone who comes across an owl in distress.

She said: “If you can pick it up there is something wrong with it.

“Put it in a box and put some old clothing or material in the bottom so the bird can grip it and cover the box. Don’t put newspaper as the bird can’t grip it.

“If you can’t find a local rescue centre then take it to a vet.”

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