Call to ban Chinese lanterns after owl gets stuck

The co-founder of an animal sanctuary has called for Chinese lanterns to be banned, after a tawny ow

The co-founder of an animal sanctuary has called for Chinese lanterns to be banned, after a tawny owl got caught in one in a tree.Picture: Chris Rockingham - Credit: Chris Rockingham

The co-founder of a Norfolk animal sanctuary has called for Chinese lanterns to be banned, after a tawny owl got caught in one in a tree.

The co-founder of an animal sanctuary has called for Chinese lanterns to be banned, after a tawny ow

The co-founder of an animal sanctuary has called for Chinese lanterns to be banned, after a tawny owl got caught in one in a tree.Picture: Chris Rockingham - Credit: Chris Rockingham

Chris Rockingham, from Hingham-based PACT, said the owl - who has been named Tawny - was spotted by a member of the public in School Road, Bradenham.

Mrs Rockingham, said: 'He was hanging about 20ft up, from a Chinese lantern wire by his legs. The wire had become wrapped around a power line and the lantern itself had become trapped in a tree thereby stretching the wire between the tree and the power line.

'The poor owl had obviously flown into it and had become embroiled in the wire which was wrapped around his legs and talons, leaving him dangling and flapping his wings unable to escape.'

But when PACT heard about the stricken owl on Friday, September 23, they were unable to rescue it themselves.


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'As he was higher up than our ladders could reach and attached to a power line this was not a rescue that we could carry out unaided,' Mrs Rockingham said. 'Therefore we called the fire brigade who came out promptly and the brave firemen helped rescue Tawny for which we and he are extremely grateful.'

Mrs Rockingham said PACT and other organisations are seeing more and more injuries caused by Chinese lanterns, which are popular at celebrations such as weddings or memorial services.

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'I'm sure that people just do not realise how dangerous they are,' she said. 'And we would appeal to the public to find safer and more environmentally friendly ways of celebrating their special events.'

After being rescued, Tawny was taken back to PACT where he was given first aid and is now being cared for in their veterinary unit.

'We are hopeful of a full recovery and that he will soon be released back into the wild.'

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