East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service called out East Sussex Wildlife Rescue &and Ambulance Service after being receiving a call that a fox was trapped in the old air ventilation ducting inside the Debenhams store in Terminus Road, Eastbourne yesterday afternoon.
WRAS rescuers Trevor Weeks and Maz Marriott arrived on site and were told by store staff that they thought there was a fox trapped inside the duct after hearing heavy scrabbling coming from inside the duct and after staff had reported seeing a fox catching pigeons by the entrance to the old ducting system on the roof.
"We spent some time with one of the local RSPCA Animal Collection Officers trying to figure out any easy ways of gaining access, trying to find some way to view inside the duct and whether the animal or bird could get out of its own accord but we came to the conclusion that it would be impossible for a fox to get out and very unlikely that a bird would" said Trevor Weeks, founder of East Sussex WRAS.
After consultation with Eastbourne Fire and Rescue Service’s Head quarters, a fire officer was dispatched to see whether the services fibre optic camera or any other equipment could help locate the trapped creature.
"The Fire and Rescue Service had already told us they were more than willing to help out if we need assistance, so we asked if they had any suitable equipment. The Technical Support Lorry from Lewes was dispatched after they expressed an interest in practicing the use of their equipment." said Maz Marriott, WRAS’s Brighton based rescuer.
The Fire and Rescue Service arrived and used a special camera to look inside one of the vents but it was too dark and the duct too long to see if there was any thing inside.
"With permission of the store, the firemen opened up one of the duct panels using cutting equipment so they were then able to physically look inside the duct, which is when we then new the trapped animal was in fact a pigeon and not a fox as thought by the staff" said Trevor.
The fire officers started opening up a second panel at the other end closer to the pigeon, whilst Trevor stood with his head inside the duct to watch on where the pigeon went. Luckily with the noise the pigeon walked straight towards Trevor who was then able to catch the pigeon with his hand before the fire brigade cut too big a hole in the far end of the ducting.
Maz and Trevor then secured the entrance to the ducting to top any further pigeons getting trapped and then released the pigeon out the store.
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