RSPCA rescues tawny owl stuck in kitchen extractor fan for two days in York

The owl is recovering at Ryedale Rehab Credit: RSPCA

An RSPCA officer came to the rescue of an owl who got stuck in a greasy kitchen extractor fan for two days at a disused hotel in York. 

The owner of Alhambra Court Hotel heard noises coming from the kitchen and upon inspecting spotted a tawny owl sitting behind the fan, prompting her to alert the RSPCA.

Animal rescue officer Leanne Honess-Heather went to the bird's rescue on Monday. She said: "When I arrived at the disused hotel the owl, who had tried to push her way out, was then wedged tight between the fan blades in the extractor!

"We suspect the bird had fallen down the large extractor and then, when trying to get out, had got wedged in the fan. The fan was sticky and covered in grease which made it harder for the bird to free herself. 

The owl was freed with no major injuries Credit: RSPCA

"Initially she was stuck at the top of the fan, upside down. But then, struggling, she worked her way to the bottom. Thankfully, the cover was easily removed and we were able to free her.

"She had no major injuries but she was dehydrated and covered in thick grease so needed a good bath."

The owl is now recovering at Ryedale Rehab in Malton, where she received critical care and grease was washed off her feathers.

Leanne added: "The owl wasn’t too impressed by bathtime but, after towel drying her off and popping her in a warm cage to dry out, she looked and felt much better."

"She’ll now stay at Ryedale Rehab until she’s been given a clean bill of health and is ready to be released back to the wild where, hopefully, she’ll stay away from any kitchens!"

The RSPCA says officers are often called out to free wild animals who have got themselves stuck in strange places. In October last year, an officer helped to rescue a tawny owl which had got wedged between a sliding glass door and a Juliet balcony at a block of flats in Bradford. He was freed, checked over and released.

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