AN ANIMAL welfare charity has lifted the lid on the most unusual calls they received last year - including a mix-up between a kite and a bird.
The RSPCA revealed that an incident they were called out to a case of mistaken identity in Portsmouth in late 2018.
Animal collection officer (ACO) Jenny Preson was called to reports of a bird trapped on South Parade Pier in Southsea on December 29, but all was not what it seemed.
‘We were called by a member of the public who was concerned about a bird who was caught by the foot in a flag pole on the roof of the pier,’ she said.
‘We were told the bird was thrashing around, trying to escape, but was stuck around 30ft high.
‘I rushed down there and was expecting to have to call for back-up to help with the rescue at height - but soon realised we wouldn’t need to call in the cavalry, as it was a kite used to scare birds, not an actual bird!
‘I did have a chuckle to myself about the irony.’
The RSPCA’s other funniest calls they received in 2018 included a damaged plastic bird being mistaken for a decapitated swan and a report of a skinned cat turned out to be a fur hat.
Assistant director of the RSPCA Inspectorate Dermot Murphy explained: ‘Every day is different at the RSPCA and our officers are used to responding to heartbreaking calls, taking on hair-raising rescues and, from time-to-time, dealing with laugh-out-loud situations.
‘From stuffed toys to decorative models, our officers have helped them all!
‘While we all enjoy a giggle at this time of year, there is a serious message here too.
‘Every year we’re under more and more pressure to help animals who desperately need us.
‘Everyone who called us had genuine concerns that there was an animal in distress and we rely on public to be our eyes an ears and let us know when they fear an animal is suffering.'
Mr Murphy added: ‘Perhaps these calls are just a reminder to maybe take a closer look before picking up the phone!
‘However, thankfully these mishaps are few and far between and we would like to thank everyone who takes the time to report suffering to us and helps us make the world a kinder place for animals.'