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WATCH: Firefighters join RSPCA to rescue stricken seagull tangled in fishing line and hanging upside down on telegraph wire

Firefighters teamed up with officers from the RSPCA to help rescue a seagull which had its foot ensnared in a fishing line and ended up hanging upside down from a telegraph wire.

By Neil Fatkin
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 4:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 4:02 pm

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RSPCA officers, who attended the incident on Saturday (April 30), believe the stricken bird became caught up in the wire after a hook on the fishing lure pierced its foot and then became entangled in the telegraph wire after it snagged onto the line while in flight.

It left the injured bird precariously hanging upside down, 30 feet off the ground above a car park at Ashbrooke Crescent in Sunderland.

Upset at the plight of the distressed bird, local residents contacted the RSPCA and Inspector Kirsty Keogh-Laws enlisted the help of firefighters from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

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Firefighters managed to loop a throw line around the fishing line and were able to pull the bird across to the nearest telegraph pole where a firefighter had climbed a ladder and was waiting to free the seagull and bring it down to safety.

Fortunately the bird escaped with only a small wound to its foot and, after being checked out by a vet, Kirsty took him to Pawz for Thought, an animal rescue charity in Sunderland, where he is recovering from his ordeal.

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Kirsty said: “It was one of the most bizarre rescues I’ve seen. The gull’s foot was impaled by the hook and he’d managed to get the lure trapped in the telegraph wire.

The stricken seagull hanging from a telegraph wire.

“When I first saw him he was flapping around and obviously in pain. But fire officers from Sunderland Red Watch came out and they managed to pull the bird across to a pole using a throw line.

“The vet wasn’t too concerned about the gull’s foot. There was nothing broken and he had movement in both legs. After he was given pain relief he was taken to the local rescue and he will be released back into the wild after a period of recuperation.”

RSPCA officers reminded any members of the public who are concerned about the welfare of a wild animal or see an animal in distress, to call the charity’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999.

Firefighters set about rescuing the distressed seabird.

Donations to the RSPCA can be made via the charity’s website of by calling 0300 123 8181.

The lure and hook which had become caught in the seagull's foot.