A PIGEON who was hanging from the rafters of Chester Bus Interchange was rescued by the RSPCA and after nearly six weeks of rehabilitation has been released back into the wild.

The bird had become trapped by his wing after getting tangled up in a piece of wire attached to the rafters.

RSPCA Inspector Leanne Cooper attended the George Street location after the animal welfare charity was called to help but was unable to reach the pigeon who was dangling about six metres (20 feet) up.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service were asked if they could assist with their equipment and their officers came and managed to cut the bird down. 

Chester and District Standard: The pigeon was found in distress after a piece of wire had trapped its wing.The pigeon was found in distress after a piece of wire had trapped its wing. (Image: RSPCA)

Leanne said: "We’d been told the pigeon had been dangling by his wing for hours in full view of commuters at the bus depot. When I arrived I couldn't reach him using my ladder and reach and rescue poles so I asked the fire and rescue service if they could help - luckily they’re based nearby.

"The wire was so thick and tight around his wing that I didn’t want to risk further injury by attempting to remove it myself, so I popped him along to the team at Barnhouse Veterinary Surgery where he was clipped free and cleaned up before I transferred him to our Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre at Nantwich for further treatment and rehabilitation.

Chester and District Standard: A firefighter was able to rescue the bird.A firefighter was able to rescue the bird. (Image: RSPCA)

"He’d been through a long and stressful situation and I wasn’t entirely sure whether he was going to make it, so after many weeks of rehabilitation I was really happy to see footage of him flying off. I’d like to thank the many people who helped us to ensure it was a happy outcome."

Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre and Cattery, which takes in around 6,000 animals every year, admitted the pigeon on 8 January, where he remained until his release on 17 February.

Wildlife Assistant Kate Ballance, said: "His left wing was bleeding and swollen but fortunately there were no fractures found. He started eating straight away and responded really well to treatment. We moved him to an outside aviary with other birds to help him regain the strength in his wings before a member of our wildlife team released him. It was a lengthy period of rehabilitation, as is the case with many wild animals we see here, but we’re really pleased he pulled through."

Stapeley Grange is also looking after more than 20 domestic pigeons and is appealing to people to come forward to offer them new homes. The centre has seen a particular increase in these birds this year, possibly due to the current economic climate and people no longer being able to afford to keep them. Some of the current cohort are thought to be lost pets or have been deliberately abandoned or signed over into RSPCA care because of concerns for their welfare.

Prospective adopters with previous/current experience of caring for domestic pigeons can contact Stapeley Grange via email at stapeley@rspca.org.uk.

For more information about what to do if a wild animal is found in distress, please visit the RSPCA’s website.