Lewes homeowner goes to unusual lengths to rescue trapped bird

Yannic cut a hole in the wall to free the trapped bird SUS-160706-124940001
Yannic cut a hole in the wall to free the trapped bird SUS-160706-124940001

A jackdaw trapped inside a bricked-up chimney for four days has been saved, after a charitable French handyman came to the rescue.

The bird was unable to free itself after falling inside an enclosed chimney at a house in Western Road, Lewes.

Zahira Jaser, first heard strange noises resonating from inside the wall of her study, in her family home, whilst working at her desk.

The noises progressively increased in regularity and loudness and by the second day, it became apparent that a bird was stuck behind the sealed-off chimney wall.

Mrs Jaser asked for help from the community via Streetlife, an online localised forum and networking site.

Mrs Jaser, said: “I was not sure what to do. I did not have the resources to break the wall myself and rebuild it - so I took to Streetlife to try and find a builder who was willing to voluntarily free the bird for me.

The bird was trapped in the wall for four days before being freed SUS-160706-124956001

The bird was trapped in the wall for four days before being freed SUS-160706-124956001

“So many people replied and within the space of three hours, there was a mass convergence of people in my home.

“I was a bit worried at first. I had a builder in my home who I had never met before, no references, offering to break down a wall in my home.

“I questioned myself as to whether it was worth the risk of damage to my home but I decided I would go ahead and save the bird.”

Yannic Grangier, of A Vôtre Service, decided to carry out the works free-of- charge, after being notified of the issue by his fiancée, Helen Cockin, who saw Mrs Jaser’s plea on Streetlife.

Mr Grangier, said: “When I woke up this morning, I was not imagining I would be making a small hole in a wall to save a bird. But once I heard the story I just wanted to help save the bird.

“I think there is often a problem in society, where people are indifferent and don’t want to help one another.”

Miss Cockin, a self-declared animal lover, also suggested Mrs Jaser contact the East-Sussex Wildlife Rescue Ambulance Service (WRAS).

Mrs Jaser said: “Without Helen, this would not have happened. Yannic would not be here and without his kind work, the wildlife rescue volunteers would not have been able to help.”

WRAS visited the family home immediately and were ready to take the bird to safety as soon as Mr Grangier had finished making the hole.

Trevor Weeks MBE, Founder and Operations Director of WRAS, said: “We do get calls to birds in chimneys all the time, but normally there is a vent or board or electric fire which can easily be removed.

“As we are not builders we don’t go knocking holes in walls, so always advise the callers to seek help from a builder and we then help with the rescue.”

Once the small hole had been made, a mobile phone was used to check the inside of the wall thoroughly, before a member of the WRAS reached in and safely removed the bird.

The jackdaw was found to be particularly underweight when rescued and so was taken into the care of WRAS.

Mr Weeks said: “He is now ready for release and so will be test flown and as long as he’s flying, will be released back at Lewes.”

Words by Stuart Fry. Video courtesy of East Sussex WRAS

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