Tawny owl rescued from London garden pond

A tawny owl was rescued from a London garden after getting tangled in pond netting. The RSPCA was called to a home in South London on March 8 after a resident saw the animal in trouble in the water.

It is believed the bird flew in to catch a mouse nearby but got caught in the netting at the Sydenham home. When RSPCA officers found it, it seemed "completely exhausted" and could barely move.

Since then, the owl has been taken to a wildlife hospital and found to have no injuries. It's been released into the wild as a result. The RSPCA has warned that netting in gardens can be a hazard for wildlife.

RSPCA rescue officer Mat Hawkins said: “The poor owl was discovered in the morning. I suspect he swooped in to catch a mouse that was scurrying near the pond the night before but got his leg in the netting and ended up in the water where he struggled and got further tangled."

He added: “I pulled on my waders and got into the pond but I was worried about him drowning in the struggle so I used my net to scoop him from underneath, give him some support, and prevent him from dropping below the surface.

"He’d obviously been struggling to escape for some time as the poor thing was completely exhausted and barely moved while I set about cutting him free from the netting.”

The owl was taken to South Essex Wildlife Hospital where experts checked him over and, thankfully, confirmed there were no injuries. He was given a clean bill of health and Mat returned to the garden on Thursday night (March 9) to release him back into the wild.