A CHARITY is warning about the dangers of fishing litter after a tawny owl was found trapped at a Hastings lake.
The animal was seen dangling from a tree from a piece of wire at Alexandra Park on Saturday and is thought to have been there overnight.
A dog walker saw the female bird which led to one of the RSPCA’s inspectors joining East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service at the scene.
RSPCA inspector Cora Peeters said: “There was no way she would have escaped if the fire service had not been there to climb up and free her - we are always so grateful for their help. She was desperately trying to fly away, but kept going round and round in circles.
“One fireman had to climb up a tree and the other got into the water with a wetsuit on in order to reach her.”
The owl, which was unhurt, was taken to nearby wildlife centre Mallydams Wood and checked over.
Ms Peeters added: “Since she was unhurt she was released straight back to the wild as at this time of year it is likely she would have chicks to look after.”
She said the lake was a particularly ‘bad spot’ for fishing litter, adding: “We often end up rescuing all kinds of wildlife from this area - and they are not always as lucky as this owl.”
Ms Peeters told the Observer: “We urge people to remember to dispose of their fishing litter properly as it can be so damaging to wildlife.
“The majority of anglers of course care a great deal for their environment and are very responsible - but it only takes one careless person and a life is endangered.”
Anyone who sees an injured bird or animal should call the RSPCA’s emergency helpline on 0300 1234 999.