RSPCA's top rescues of 2021 after responding to over 20,000 calls
- Credit: RSPCA
The RSPCA has revealed its top rescues of 2021 in the East of England after responding to more than 20,000 incident calls.
During the year, 20,816 incidents were reported to the charity’s frontline teams in the area via its emergency hotline.
The charity’s rescuers helped a number of animals who got themselves into rather ‘a-moo-sing' situations but luckily, they all had happy endings.
Here are some of the strangest and most surprising rescues this year.
1. Gull stuck inside litter bin, Chelmsford, Essex
A gull was rescued by animal rescuer Chloe frost after it got stuck inside a littler bin under the railway bridge in Chelmsford, Essex on February 16.
The gull was spotted by a passer-by who called the RSPCA.
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Chloe said: “No doubt this cheeky gull was on the lookout for something to eat and thought he’d try his luck in the bin.
“I’m really glad the people who spotted him gave us a call as it was a simple rescue for me that help the gull back on his way again.
She added: “I made sure to check him over but he was in good health and a nice healthy weight too.
"Maybe he’ll think twice about climbing in a bin again!"
2. Badger stuck in iron gate, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex
A badger was rescued by inspector Prisca Giddens after he got his bum stuck in an iron gate in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex on February 21.
A homeowner found the animal stuck in the embarrassing predicament, so called the RSPCA.
Prisca said: “The poor badger was completely wedged in the gate and there was no way he was going to get out of it by himself.
“I decided to use a car jack from my van to prise the gate apart and create enough space to wriggle free.
“Thankfully, he didn’t have any injuries from his ordeal and he was very full of life and ran straight away without even a thank you!”
3. Sheep’s head stuck through wire fence, Downham Market, Norfolk
A sheep was rescued by inspector Amy Pellegrini after it got its head stuck in a wire fence near Downham Market, Norfolk on April 27.
Amy said: “A walker had spotted the sheep away from her flock with her head stuck firmly through a wire fence.
“I expected the ewe had been trying to reach some of the lush grass on the other side of the fence when she got her head stuck in a rather embarrassing situation!
“Thankfully, I was able to wriggle her free quite easily and I set her loose so she could run back to the rest of her flock.”
4. Squirrel stuck inside lamp post, Cambridge
A squirrel was rescued from inside a lamp post in Cambridge on July 3 by RSPCA rescuer Mitchell Smith after a member of the public heard scratching coming from inside.
It’s believed the squirrel got stuck after falling down the inside of the post as there was no light fitting at the top.
Mitchell took off the front panel but the scared squirrel refused to budge.
“I managed to catch him using my grasper and, luckily, he wasn’t injured and ran off straight away!” said Mitchell.
5. 10ft Snake spotted in tree down country lane, Conington, Cambridgeshire
A python was rescued by RSPCA rescuer Justin Stubbs after climbing up a tree along a quiet country lane in Conington, Cambridgeshire on August 27.
A motorcyclist saw the snake as he was riding along.
Justin said: “I really could not believe it when I got there and saw this huge snake all the way up in the tree – it was a scene a bit reminiscent of the Jungle Book!”
Justin called the fire service for help and, together, they cut the branches around the 10ft snake – thought to have been abandoned – and caught him on tarpaulin below.
“I’ve rescued hundreds of animals from trees over my 25 years with the RSPCA, but I wasn’t expecting to see this stunning animal wrapped high up around tree branches in the English countryside!” said Justin.
6. Kitten's head stuck in rat bait box, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex
A kitten was rescued by rescuer Jason Finch after he managed to get his head stuck in a rat bait box in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex on October 28.
Jason said: “It was a tricky situation trying to ger him out of the box without causing any mire distress, but thankfully I managed to get him free.”