Also rescued in 2023 was a seal who found itself 18 miles inland on a farm. In January, a grey seal pup was rescued and returned to the sea after being found in a farmer’s field in Lancashire after it went wandering from a nearby river.
RSPCA, the UK’s oldest animal charity, has rehomed 111 pets every day over the last 10 years but some rescues have been harder than others.
RSPCA reveals its best rescues of 2023
It was found about 0.6 miles away from the River Ribble near the Capitol Centre in Walton-le-Dale, Preston and it’s thought the seal made its way across three farmers fields before being spotted by a member of the public who alerted the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), the RSPCA and the practice manager from the nearby Vets4Pets.It was RSPCA animal rescue officer Kelly Nix that was sent to the scene and assisted the BDMLR in safely containing the seal in a cage.Nix then sought advice from the charity’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Cheshire.
She said: “The seal had come from the river – which is 18 miles (29km) inland from the coast – but this is not unusual and seals are spotted in our waterways and will happily find their own way back to the sea.”The RSPCA rescued a fox that was found with its head stuck in a car wheel in 2023 (Image: SWNS)
In September 2023, a boa constrictor measuring 2m in length was found in a car park in Plymouth. An animal rescue volunteer collected the snake and took it to a specialist reptile centre.RSPCA volunteer coordinator, Chief Inspector John Atkinson, said: “We’re so grateful to all our volunteers for everything they do to help animals. “One of them, Dawn, is a shining light of animal welfare and has helped rescue all sorts of animals.”She has great experience with snakes so knew just what to do after getting the call about the boa constrictor.“We’re always keen to welcome more volunteers to help our charity help as many animals as possible, but don’t worry, you don’t have to know how to handle snakes.”
The RSPCA rescued a fox that was found with its head stuck in a car wheel in 2023
A few months before, in May, Einstein the iguana escaped his home through a cat flap and found himself stuck 12m up a tree in a neighbour’s garden. Mowgli, a missing cat, was rescued by the RSPCA after falling down a 30m mine shaft in Callington, Cornwall in 2023.In October, a fox was found with its head stuck in a car wheel by a member of the public outside a storage yard in New Malden.RSPCA animal rescue officer Sam Matthews managed to free the fox and it was released back into the wild three days later, near to where it was found.