Lofty the owl rescued by firefighters

'LOFTY' the owl got his feathers in a fluster when a not so wise move left him trapped and dangling upside down from a church door.The wild tawny owl became trapped by his claw in an apex of St Mary's Church at Great Henny, near Sudbury, as he swooped on a feed.

'LOFTY' the owl got his feathers in a fluster when a not so wise move left him trapped and dangling upside down from a church door.

The wild tawny owl became trapped by his claw in an apex of St Mary's Church at Great Henny, near Sudbury, as he swooped on a feed.

After spending hours trapped and distressed, Lofty was minutes from death, but the swift actions of firefighters and veterinary staff ensured a happy ending to the tale.

A Sudbury fire crew was called to the church early yesterday morning and carefully removed the bird, which was nicknamed Lofty by firefighters.


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Sudbury sub-officer John Bromley said: "When we arrived the owl was dangling upside down by one foot from the apex, I climbed the ladder and carefully removed it. At the time it was very, very distraught and weak and I don't think it had long left.

"I think it must have been chasing prey when its claw got stuck in a hole in the apex, and it simply couldn't move. I think the owl must have been there for hours because it was so distressed.

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"This is a very rare incident, in my 19 years in the fire service I have never had to rescue an owl, but it's things like this that make the job worth while. I am glad I helped save the bird and I hope to come back here to release it when it is fully recovered."

Senior veterinary nurse Abi Button said: "When the owl first arrived it was very shaken and was dehydrated. We put it in bubble wrap to preserve its body heat and then into an oxygen chamber.

"We have been feeding it through a tube to ensure it has got enough fluids and have put it outside in a quiet area so it can recover from the shock.

"It also has some minor tissue injury on the leg that was trapped, but nothing serious. The next few days are crucial, but it seems to be making good progress and it should survive."

Once Lofty is strong enough, he will be moved to a rescue centre in Cambridge, which specialises in caring for birds of prey and it is hoped Lofty can be released into the wild next week.

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