A tawny owl miraculously survived – after falling into a SLURRY pit.
The filthy bird was found huddled up beside the pit in a “disgusting” state and was not expected to live.
Rescuers said she nearly drowned but after a deep clean she is being cared for at an RSPCA wildlife centre and is hoped to make a full recovery.
A member of the public alerted the bird’s plight to the RSPCA and Inspector Marije Zwager went to collect her from the scene at Broadhembury, near Honiton, Devon.
Marije said: “The poor tawny owl was in a right state.
“Her beautiful feathers were absolutely filthy and stuck together with thick, black slurry. I held out little hope she would survive this ordeal.
“She’s very lucky to be alive as she very nearly drowned in the slurry.”
Inspector Zwager took the owl to RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre, in Somerset, where staff gave her a deep-clean and bath.
Bel Deering, manager of the centre, said: “When we admitted the owl she was very cold, sad and dirty. It was hard to tell what condition she was in and whether she would survive due to all the contamination.
“After being warmed up, rested and receiving fluid therapy, she was washed in our specialist bird wash room.
“Thankfully the slurry came off well and, after drying, a beautiful tawny owl appeared again!”
The owl will now be monitored and, once well enough, released back into the wild near the area she was found.