A tawny owl that was given the name ‘Sooty’ after flying into a wood burner at a house in Criftins, Ellesmere, is on it’s way to a full recovery.

The bird was covered in soot when it was found by the homeowner lodged inside the flue.

The 90-minute rescue was carried out by Inspector Kate Parker from the RSPCA, who said: “The owl was completely trapped inside the flue of the wood burner and he may not have been found if the homeowners hadn’t have heard scratching.

“The only way I could get him out was very delicately - something which took 90 minutes. He looked a little worse for wear as he was completely covered in black soot. I got him to a vet to be checked over and thankfully he was not seriously injured.

“To think that the owl fell all the way from the roof and down the chimney and to not get any serious injuries is remarkable.”

Sooty is now in the care of the Cuan Wildlife Rescue in Much Wenlock.

Katie Barrett from Cuan Wildlife Rescue said: “He is doing quite well, his feathers have cleared up and he has even given himself a bath as well as us washing him.

“We have had a few birds in that have found themselves in chimneys so it’s not too unusual and we know how to handle the situation.”

Sooty will be released back into the wild once he has finished his medication and has received all the care he needs.

If you spot an animal in distress or want to report suspected animal cruelty, please contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency hotline by calling 0300 1234 999.