Rescuer abseils 130 feet down airless well to save trapped owl

Police in the town of Bad Segeberg were alerted on Saturday afternoon by a local who could hear the bird hooting in distress, according to a statement issued by the fire service Monday.

Rescuers used a spotlight to illuminate the well and could see the bird at the bottom, but they were unable to lure it into a net.

Tests showed that the air quality was poor just a few meters into the shaft, so they lowered an oxygen bottle into the well to help the owl breathe.

Then a rescuer wearing breathing apparatus abseiled down the well, packed the young animal into a bag and sent it back up the rope before following themselves.

The rescue operation took 3.5 hours and the owl has since been given to a local bat sanctuary, where it will be looked after.

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“We would like to thank everyone involved for the very good cooperation,” the fire service said in the statement.

The young owl is part of a group that has lived in the area for a long time, it added.

The birds live on the Kalkberg, or “Chalk Mountain,” a 300-foot rock in the center of Bad Segeberg that is topped by the ruined castle.

Eagle owls are probably the largest species of owl in the world, with a wingspan of up to 6.5 feet, according to the US National Aviary. They are common throughout Europe and Asia.

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