An anti-pigeon net is set to be ‘urgently’ removed from the top of a clock tower in Leeds after a peregrine falcon became trapped, sparking a rescue effort. Firefighters climbed into the Parkinson Building at the University of Leeds to free the bird of prey earlier today.
The spectacular rescue was launched after members of the public spotted the fledgling peregrine falcon caught tightly under the net high on the iconic clock tower and struggling to break free. The daring attempts to free the bird were recounted on Twitter by Yorkshire wildlife advocate @leedsbirder.
In a series of tweets about the incident, he said: “During today’s second @UoLperegrine emergency we spotted TJS, one of our recently fledgling peregrine falcon juveniles caught under a pigeon net on Parkinson’s Tower With the help of @UniversityLeeds Security, RSPCA and WY Fire Brigade a rescue attempt was launched.
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“Access to the top of the tower is extremely difficult, but the situation has been assessed by firefighters with the assistance of Uni Security and the RSPCA. They have decided that a rescue attempt is possible via the upper windows .
“An attempt was made to free TJ, reaching out the window. But it became clear he was tightly entangled in the net.
“The ledge was just wide enough to allow access by crawling all the way to the end. Incredible work by our hero @WYFRS (West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service) who managed to grab hold of our Peregrine whilst freeing it at nearly 200 feet from the field.
“Safely back at ground level, the team began the delicate process of removing some of the remaining nets that TJ was caught in. He was also carefully examined for injuries and cleared with just a scratch. minor.”
Watch the footage of the recovery in this video from @leedsbirder below – the tweet may take a while to load
The University, which owns the building, said it would urgently remove all “bird deterrents” from the site in light of the rescue. A statement from the University of Leeds released following the incident read: “We are urgently organizing the removal of netting and other deterrents from Parkinson’s Tower, seeking expert advice on the how and when to do so to minimize We remain very grateful to everyone involved in the successful rescue of the Tower Hawk, including @WYFRS, @leedsbirder, members of the public and our security team, and share the everyone’s relief that the bird seems unharmed.
“We appreciate the importance of protecting birds and other wildlife, as well as ensuring the health and safety of our community and maintaining buildings and equipment. We will involve the relevant authorities and experts in a prompt review , building by building, protective provisions on campus to help us get it right.”
A statement about the rescue posted online by the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service read: “#ShoutOut to our Leeds Green Watch Team who climbed to the ‘spout’ (almost 200ft off the ground) to rescue a basking bird. The bird was cut free from the net and checked for any injuries. #WYBirdRescue – Mission accomplished.”