Poor gull finds himself trapped on TV aerial in Stanford-le-Hope
The RSPCA is warning people about the dangers balloon releases can pose to animals after a gull became stuck upside-down, hanging from an aerial at a home in Stanford-Le-Hope after being tangled in balloon debris.
The RSPCA and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue the gull last month after he was seen hanging upside-down from the aerial on the two-storey house.
Firefighters used an aerial ladder platform to reach the gull and cut him free before passing him to the RSPCA who took the bird to the South Essex Wildlife Hospital.
RSPCA Animal Collection Officer Joseph White said: “I would really like to thank the firefighters for all their effort in helping to rescue this bird.
“The firefighters were able to cut the bird free then put him in a cardboard carrier. When the bird was brought down to the ground I held him and a firefighter cut off what I believe was balloon ribbon from the bird’s legs.”
Deflated balloons and balloon fragments can be mistaken for food. Ingesting them can cause a slow death to wild birds and mammals as well as farm animals, horses and marine life.
Even balloons that are classified as ‘degradable’ are unsafe, as they can take weeks to break down so still pose a risk.
The RSPCA, along with other animal welfare groups, is calling for an end to balloon and sky lantern releases.