Tayside and Central Scotland

Firefighters help trapped raptor Pilgrim's progress

Fraser Doig and Pilgrim Image copyright SFRS
Image caption Fraser Doig was one of the firefighters who helped rescue the bird of prey

Firefighters have come to the rescue of a 21-year-old bald eagle stuck on a pylon in Perthshire.

The distressed raptor's handler called for help after the bird, which is called Pilgrim, became stuck on the pylon for two-and-a-half hours.

The incident happened on Wednesday morning, close to Phoenix Falconry near Gleneagles.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service station manager Ricky Stroud said it was "one of our most unusual callouts".

He said: "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.

Image copyright SFRS
Image caption Pilgrim was said to be "back to his usual self" following the rescue

Fire crews used their aerial reach appliance to return Pilgrim to safety.

Mr Stroud said: "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."

Phoenix Falconry owner Adrian Hallgarth said Pilgrim had only sustained minor feather damage and was "back to his usual self" after food and a bath.

He 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."

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