Trapped ducklings rescued from reservoir culvert in Bradford

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Chellow Dene reservoir Chellow Dene reservoir

THE RSPCA is to contact the council over its concerns that baby birds keep getting trapped in a reservoir's overflow culvert.

And it has warned the public never to try to rescue any birds themselves from the culvert, at the Chellow Dene reservoirs near Allerton, as they could put themselves in danger.

Seven ducklings and a baby coot, which became trapped in the culvert, had to be rescued by firefighters on Saturday .

Worried onlookers contacted the RSPCA after spotting the baby birds.

They in turn called out a crew from Fairweather Green fire station, who used ladders to get down the 20ft drop into the shallow waters and scooped the birds up with a net.

Fire station watch commander Mark Hemingway said: "We had to use a net and the firefighters caught them in the net and released them back onto the water."

RSPCA Inspector Natalie Taylor said the fire crew had been "absolutely amazing".

She said: "The ducklings weren't that much of a concern. They were one to two weeks off flying, and mum would have kept flying down to look after them, but the coot wouldn't have survived."

It is the second time in just a few weeks that fire crews have been called out to rescue ducklings trapped in the culvert, and Insp Taylor said she suspected it was the same birds getting stuck each time.

She said: "Unfortunately, this is going to be a regular occurrence every year. We did a rescue last year in similar circumstances."

But she warned members of the public never to try to climb into the culvert to rescue any trapped birds themselves.

She said : "I know members of the public have been down there and rescued them before, but it's dangerous.

"Of course, when people see young animals at risk, there is always an urge to try and rescue them, but they could end up having to be rescued themselves."

The reservoirs no longer provide a water supply, but are run by Bradford Council as a beauty spot and recreation area.

Insp Taylor said the RSPCA would now be asking the council to see what could be done to stop any birds from getting trapped in future.

She said: "One of my colleagues is going to contact the council to see if they can sort something out. If this is a regular thing, it's going to be worth asking them to see if they can get a grille put up to stop it happening again."

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