Published: December 5, 2013
When 'Santa' got stuck up a chimney he began to hoot! Owl is rescued

An owl is recovering at Secret World Wildlife Centre near Burnham-On-Sea after being rescued from a chimney.

The bird got trapped at a house in Wellow near Bath and was only found thanks to his increasingly desperate hooting.

Santa - as he's been called - was rescued by the fire brigade unharmed, apart from a lot of soot in his eyes.

Residents Ron and Sheilagh heard the cries for help coming from their chimney and when they realised they were coming from a tawny owl they called for the help of Secret World.

Roger Lucken, a response driver and experienced bird handler, was sent to the scene and hot on Roger's heels was a crew of firefighters to reach the bird.

Secret World carer Debbie O'Keefe told "Santa had lodged himself half way down the chimney and with the help of a chimney sweep brush, Roger was able to carefully push the owl back up the chimney from inside the house."

"Waiting at the top of the chimney was one of the fire crew who gently grasped the owl as it emerged."

"To everyone's great relief, apart from a few ruffled feathers, sore eyes and a light dusting of soot 'Santa' - an adult tawny owl - was unharmed."

Roger Lucken, now also a trustee of the charity, said: "We can't thank the team from the fire brigade enough for their prompt response. Santa has returned with me to Secret World for some rest and a bath, but we are hoping to return him to the wild before Christmas."

Ron and Sheilagh Humphreys said they were delighted that Secret World were able to come to Santa's rescue.

"They do such an important job. The Fire Brigade could have freed our owl but without specialist care and treatment at Secret World he may well not have lived to see Christmas. "

Santa is the third tawny owl to be rescued from a chimney in the last two weeks. Readers can help Santa return home for Christmas by adopting an owl, or another animal via Secret World's website.


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