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Ashbourne PCSO teams up to release recovered owl back into the wild

Posted on 17th April 2015

Ashbourne owl 2

Tawny owl released back into the wild by police and partners

Officers from the Ashbourne Safer Neighbourhood Team have joined forces with partner agencies to release a once injured owl back into the wild.

Over the past couple of months, volunteers from Raptor Rescue have been caring for a tawny owl after it was found injured at the roadside by patrolling officers.

PC Mark White was carrying out routine night-time patrols when he was flagged down by a lorry driver who had spotted an injured owl in a lay-by close to Brailsford in Ashbourne.Ashbourne owl

PC White used a make-shift carrier to take the owl to Blenheim Veterinary Centre in Ashbourne where she was treated for head injuries. It is believed that the tawny owl had been in a collision with a passing vehicle.

PCSO Tammy Bell-Heather from the Ashbourne Safer Neighbourhood Team and Kevin Thomson, a volunteer at Raptor Rescue, returned to the lay-by on Wednesday, April 15 to release the bird back into the wild.

PCSO Tammy Bell-Heather said: "Releasing the owl back into the wild was a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into wildlife protocol and the role of a rural PCSO.

"Every day on the Safer Neighbourhood team brings new challenges and this proves just that, showing the lighter side of policing.

"Blenheim Vets and Rapture Rescue did a brilliant job with treating the owl and it was great to see the bird back in the wild where it belongs after making a full recovery."

Furness Vale resident Kevin Thomson, a volunteer at Raptor Rescue, added: "When the owl first came to us she was very docile to begin with but is now back to her feisty self.Ashbourne owl 3

"At first, the owl was placed into a hospital aviary where we could keep an eye on her and help to build up her strength by hand feeding the bird. The tawny owl was then moved to a larger aviary, where she had limited human contact to help to prepare her for her release.

"It was brilliant to see her being released back into the wild, close to the lay-by where she was first spotted."

To speak to your local Safer Neighbourhood team call 101, the non-emergency number for Derbyshire police.

To contact Raptor Rescue call the charity on 08702 410609

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.