‘How on earth did he get there?’ Unusual rescue sees starling removed from drain

The RSPCA and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue the Starling from a Downham Mark

The RSPCA and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue the Starling from a Downham Market drain. Picture: RSPCA - Credit: Archant

They've rescued pets from fires and attended plenty of cats stuck up trees - but the rescue of a starling stuck down a drain is something RSPCA and fire service workers have never been confronted with.

The RSPCA and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue the Starling from a Downham Mark

The RSPCA and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue the Starling from a Downham Market drain. Picture: RSPCA - Credit: Archant

But that was the case on Tuesday when the RSPCA was called to rescue a starling trapped in a drain in Downham Market after a member of the public spotted the bird in distress.

The charity was told the bird kept popping its head out of a small hole.

Naemi Kilbey, RSPCA animal collection officer, responded to the report and tried to free the bird by lifting the drain cover herself but was unable to because it was too heavy.

Other attempts by passing refuse collectors also failed and the animal collection officer called on the help of Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service.

The RSPCA and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue the Starling from a Downham Mark

The RSPCA and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue the Starling from a Downham Market drain. Picture: RSPCA - Credit: Archant


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The crew were able to lift the drain cover using 'a combination of specialist lifting equipment and brute-strength,' and once removed Ms Kilbey was able to reach in and safely catch the bird.

The starling was taken to the RSPCA's East Winch Wildlife Centre for a check up and will be released back into the wild this weekend if he is fit and well.

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Ms Kilbey said: 'I've had to attend a lot of rescues over the years, but this is certainly one of the more unusual ones.

'When you attend an animal rescue you can usually work out how they got themselves into the predicament - but in the case of this little starling I really don't know how on earth he got himself there.

The RSPCA and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue the Starling from a Downham Mark

The RSPCA and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue the Starling from a Downham Market drain. Picture: RSPCA - Credit: Archant

'I am so grateful to everyone who was involved in this rescue and so pleased that the bird had been spotted by a member of the public, especially given he was in such a peculiar location.

'We have kept the starling at our wildlife centre for a few days to monitor him, but all being well he should be released this weekend.'

To support the RSPCA with their work in rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing wild animals visit their website or call their donation line on 0300 123 8181.

The RSPCA and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue the Starling from a Downham Mark

The RSPCA and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue the Starling from a Downham Market drain. Picture: RSPCA - Credit: Archant

The RSPCA and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue the Starling from a Downham Mark

The RSPCA and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue the Starling from a Downham Market drain. Picture: RSPCA - Credit: Archant

The RSPCA and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue the Starling from a Downham Mark

The RSPCA and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue the Starling from a Downham Market drain. Picture: RSPCA - Credit: Archant

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