RSPCA defends cost of gull rescue drama

Fire crews rescue the seagull  earlier this week
Fire crews rescue the seagull earlier this week

Animal charity officials insist there was no option but to call in firefighters to rescue a gull trapped on a Cleveleys roof.

Questions were raised over the cost of the operation, in Anchorsholme Lane East on Monday.

The bird would have almost certainly died had he not been rescued from the netting as he was so badly trapped

But RSPCA officials insists the closure of a road and the use of an aerial ladder platform was vital.

Gazette readers were left split on the rescue bid with some insisting animal welfare was always a priority, others concerned by the cost - estimated at £400 per fire appliance.

Two crews, one from Bispham and one from Blackpool attended the scene along with the platform, which allowed firefighters and an RSPCA officers access to the rooftop.

Philip Clayton of the Footcare Clinic in Anchorsholme Lane was among those who questioned the involvement of fire crews.

He told The Gazette: “You can understand if it’s a rare bird. But a gull? Most of the time people are saying they are a nuisance. Being an animal lover it was great to see the poor bird being rescued but wonder how much this cost? I believe that the fire engines must have cost a considerable amount.”

Readers commenting on the Gazette’s website were also split.

One post was heavily critical, saying: “Hard to believe that the fire brigade would turn out for the sake of a flying rat, what next to release a mouse caught in a trap?”

But another poster wrote: “Good on the RSPCA and firefighters for helping out a stricken creature. It’s heartwarming and a compassionate thing to do.”

An RSPCA spokesman said: “We are very happy to report that thanks to the efforts of the firefighters and the use of their aerial ladder platform we were able to rescue the gull.

“The bird would have almost certainly died had he not been rescued from the netting as he was so badly trapped.

“Our officer took him to a vets to be checked over and thankfully he was well enough to be released yesterday evening.

“We were very grateful the fire service were able to attend on this occasion and help the gull who had been stuck there for a number of days.

“Had we not intervened he would not have survived.

“Using an aerial ladder platform was the only option in this instance due to the height of the rescue and the wires that surrounded the area the gull was in.”