Firefighters rescue bald eagle trapped on electricity pylon

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The raptor, known as Pilgrim, was safely recovered after being stuck for two-and-a-half hours

Perth Firefighter Fraser DoigFIREFIGHTERS proved nothing gets them in a flap after they rescued a bald eagle stuck in a pylon.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was alerted to the raptor in distress after receiving a call at 12.16pm on Wednesday, August 2.

Two appliances attended the incident close to Phoenix Falconry near Gleneagles, Perthshire.

Crews used the aerial reach appliance (ARP) to safely return the 21-year-old eagle called Pilgrim to its handler after it had been stuck for two-and-a-half hours.

Station Manager Ricky Stroud said: “This was certainly one of our most unusual callouts.

“The eagle was stuck at the very top of the power line which was around 20ft in the air.

“It was clear the animal was in a state of distress and it was crucial we acted quickly so the animal didn’t injure itself.

“After safety partners isolated the power supply we were able to use the height appliance to go up and safely recover the eagle and return it to its handler."

Perth Crew Manager Brian Teven With Eagle And Firefighters
Adrian Hallgarth, 50, is the owner of Phoenix Falconry.

He was pleased to report that Pilgrim only suffered minor feather damage but was back to his usual self after a bath and a feed.

Adrian said: “Pilgrim has flown up to that very same pylon during his exercises every day for the last nine years so it was a real surprise that he got into difficulty on this outing.

“When you fly raptors they wear short cords on their legs but on this occasion the cords seem to have become stuck in between two plates that are common at the top of power lines.

“I’m just glad Pilgrim is fine and I can’t thank the firefighters enough – they were here within minutes and were extremely understanding and supportive of the whole situation."

Statutory responsibility for animal rescue lies with the Scottish SPCA however the SFRS will always attend where there is a risk that a members of the public might put themselves in danger to assist an animal in distress.

Anyone who discovers an injured or distressed animal should call the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.