It’s normal for avian critters, such as birds or owls, to find their way into human spaces, like warehouses or hardware stores. It’s not a huge concern for the humans, but more of a concern for the poor animals that might get trapped inside, or worse, get hurt.
Such was the case when an owl somehow ended up trapped in the ventilation fan of a disused hotel in York, UK, leaving the hotel’s owner in shock. The poor animal was literally lodged in the fan for two days before it was rescued.
When the owner heard noises coming from the extractor fan of the kitchen, she went to investigate and discovered a tawny owl jammed inside the fan’s protective mesh.
Incredibly, the bird had managed to work its way inside the fan, but was unable to escape. The owl was soaked in grease and in a terrible-looking state.
“The bird seemed alert despite being trapped,” animal rescue officer Leanne Honess-Heather told Metro. “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.”
Fortunately, what was surely a terrifying ordeal for the small avian friend was soon resolved.
After extracting the poor owl, Leanne transported it to Ryedale Rehab, an RSPCA wildlife rescue center. There, it received care, including a bath to degrease its feathers, and monitoring of its health.
“The owl wasn’t too impressed by bathtime,” Leanne recounted, “but after towel drying her off and popping her in a warm cage to dry out, she looked and felt much better.”
In a press release on Jan. 20, the RSPCA shared how their officers had responded to several owl rescue calls last year.
The list of recent owl rescues includes the following: a tawny owl that got wedged between a balcony and a sliding glass door; a barn owl that became stuck behind a grandfather clock; and yet another tawny owl that was found trapped inside a chimney.
It seems tawny owls may have a penchant for getting into small spaces. Getting out is another matter.
Ryedale plans to keep the bird at the facility until veterinarians give her the green light to return home.
“[When she’s] ready to be released back to the wild … hopefully, she’ll stay away from any kitchens,” Leanne said.
And hopefully, fewer tawny owls wanting to become the next Houdini will frequent the hotel, too.