Watch moment emergency services save Peregrine Falcon trapped in netting on University of Leeds

This is the moment the emergency services helped to save a Peregrine Falcon stuck in netting on the University of Leeds Parkinson Tower - with hundreds of people now calling for it to be removed.

By Daniel Sheridan
Monday, 13th June 2022, 4:30 pm

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Birdwatcher Paul Wheatley, 46, - known as @LeedsBirder on Twitter - shared a harrowing thread on Twitter detailing what happened on Saturday.

Peregrines have been nesting intermittently on the Parkinson Tower since 2018.

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This is the moment the emergency services helped to save a Peregrine Falcon stuck in netting on the University of Leeds Parkinson Tower - with hundreds of people now calling for it to be removed. cc @LeedsBirder

A recently fledged falcon was caught under anti-pigeon netting on the Parkinson Tower.

With the aid of the University security, the RSPCA and the fire service, a rescue attempt was launched.

Paul said: "Access to the very top of the tower is extremely difficult, but the situation was assessed by the Fire Brigade with help from Uni security and RSPCA.

"They decided a rescue attempt was possible via the top windows.

"An attempt was made to cut TJ free, reaching out from the window.

"But it became clear he was entangled tightly in the netting.

"The ledge was just wide enough to allow access by crawling to the end.

"Amazing work from our fire service hero who managed to hold on to our Peregrine while cutting him free whilst almost 200 feet up from the ground."

Thankfully, the bird had only suffered minor scratch injuries and was later spotted having a well earned sleep by Paul.

Now, hundreds of social media users have called for the netting to be removed to stop a repeat of the incident.

Paul said: "I think now would be a good time for the University of Leeds to finally remove pigeon netting and spikes from its buildings, and reverse its recent decision to put up even more pigeon netting.

"Thanks again to everyone who helped today - you were all brilliant.

"Seeing TJ back up on the ledge and taking it in his stride was such a relief. It’s been emotional."

Chris Packham showed his support for removing the netting by sharing the thread on his Twitter feed.

In a social media statement, the University of Leeds said: "We are urgently arranging for the netting and other deterrents to be removed from the Parkinson Tower, seeking expert advice on how and when this should be done so as to minimise further disturbance to the peregrines.

"We remain very grateful to all those involved in the successful rescue of the falcon from the tower, including WYFRS, @leedsbirder, members of the public and our security team, and share everyone's relief that the bird appears unharmed.

"We value the importance of protecting birds and other wildlife, as well as ensuring the health and safety of our community and conserving buildings and equipment.

"We will be involving the relevant authorities and experts in a prompt building-by-building review of protection arrangements across campus to help us get this right."