Yorkshire woman calls RSPCA after spotting duck stuck in ice - but all is not what it seems

After spotting a duck stuck in ice on a frozen pond, a woman in North Yorkshire contacted the RSPCA - but all wasn’t as it seemed.

Every year the RSPCA receives numerous call-outs that turn out to be something entirely unexpected.

The charity has now released a list of the funniest calls it received in 2021 - with a couple of incidents in Yorkshire making the round-up.

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In January 2021, a woman in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, called the RSPCA to report a bird that had been stuck in a frozen pond for two days and hadn’t been able to move.

The 'duck' the caller believed was stuck in the ice

When animal rescue officer Shane Lynn arrived at the scene however, all was not as it seemed.

“As soon as I arrived and located the pond I realised my help wouldn’t be required as the duck was in fact a plastic ornament,” he said.

Over in West Yorkshire, a concerned Pontefract resident called the emergency services after spotting a snake on their roof.

The caller said he was unable to sleep as he was concerned the snake could be dangerous and the police officer referred him to the RSPCA.

The 'snake' that turned out to be nothing more than a toy

Animal rescue officer Ollie Wilkes attended the scene on March 22.

He said: “It was difficult to see in the dark so the fire and rescue service used a long hook to pull the snake down and we very quickly realised there was nothing for anyone to worry about; because it was a headless rubber toy!

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“I suspect a bird of prey had swooped down and picked it up before dropping it on the roof when it realised it wasn’t a tasty treat!”

There were a number of other amusing stories that emerged across the UK.

In London, a caller reported a dog squealing and crying, tethered tightly to a canal boat.

When Inspector Dale Grant rushed to the scene, the dog in question turned out to be a stuffed toy tiger that had been tied to the bow of the boat.

A spokesperson said: “No day is ever the same at the RSPCA and we get called to the weird and wonderful as well as the sad. One thing you learn very quickly in this job is to expect the unexpected!

“While these calls certainly gave us a chuckle there is also an important message here: we’re stretched more and more each year and, while we appreciate that all of these callers were trying to do their best and help what they believed to be an animal in need, we’d urge the public to stop, think and check before asking us for help.

“We’d hate to send an officer out to rescue a distressed dog that turned out to be a stuffed toy or an abandoned snake that was in fact a plastic toy and miss out on rescuing a real animal in need.”