Owl dies after falling down chimney onto lit fire in Yorkshire despite RSPCA efforts

An owl that was rescued after it fell down a chimney onto a lit fire in a farm house near Scarborough has died - despite efforts to save it from the RSPCA.

RSPCA Inspector Laura Barber was called to the property in the village of Wilton, near Pickering, after the owner lit the fire and moments later the tawny owl fell down into the flames, then onto the hearth.

The homeowner wrapped the distressed bird in a towel and placed it outside hoping the bird of prey would recover and fly off.

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However, when they realised the nocturnal bird was not moving much they called the RSPCA.

The tawny owl was wrapped up in a towel after it suffered burns and singed feathers to its wing. (Photo: RSPCA)

Inspector Barber said: "I could see the owl had damage to her left wing and the feathers were singed so I rushed the owl to a nearby vet for emergency treatment.

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"The owl was given fluids and treated for burns and the vet was planning to transplant some feathers onto the bird once she was strong enough - but the bird sadly died overnight on Thursday December 30.

"The householder was really concerned about the owl and did the right thing in reporting the matter to us. We all really rallied to try to save the bird but sadly this case did not have the ending we had all hoped for."

The RSPCA advises fitting a special chimney cowl or a wire mesh guard to prevent birds from nesting in or falling down the chimney.