THIS owl was found caught trapped on a fishing line and was badly injured.

And it was a Scissett couple who nursed it back to health and have now been able to release it back to its home territory.

Wayne and Katrina Auty had the tawny owl for a week after a walker spotted it was trapped and injured.

The bird-loving couple took it in until it was fit enough to fly and yesterday they released it back home at Holme Styes Reservoir, Holmfirth.

Wayne explained: “It’s an adult tawny owl and was found in quite a state, it was trapped on fishing line and was taken along to the vets, Donaldsons at Aspley.

“They contact us because we take in rescue birds of prey and it was very weak. We had to feed it liquidised food because it wasn’t able to help itself.

“Owls don’t like being around people, so it took some time to get it to trust us, we put it in a dark corner, which they like, and kept feeding it and it’s gone from strength to strength.”

Yesterday the owl was finally strong enough to be released, but the couple were careful about where they let it go.

Wayne added: “Owls have their own hunting ground and it’s likely there’s a mate waiting for it. Owls mate for life and they would have been pining for each other.

“So we took it back to where it was found in the hope they find each other.

“If we’d have taken it somewhere else there may have been other owls who rejected it so it would be lost and may not survive.”

The owl was a little shy when the couple opened its box to give it freedom, as Wayne said: “When they are scared they freeze, they play dead, so it took some encouragement to get it out, but as soon as the owl saw the trees it was off like a rocket.”

The couple currently have 10 birds of prey, including sparrowhawks, kestrels and owls at their Scissett home.

They say any wild rescue birds stay with them until they regain their health and are then released back into the wild.

However, they also take in captive birds, which would not survive in the wild, and they show them at village fairs to make money to treat the rescue birds.

“I got a sparrowhawk about 18 months ago and it’s gone from there really,” Wayne added.

“We got some of our birds because other people couldn’t look after them, and because they’ve been in captivity we can’t release them, so we show them at fairs and earn some money to keep the birds.

“We took in two owls who were captive bred – one was really unwell but they were attached to each other. Sadly the ill owl didn’t survive but its brother is still going strong.”

To find out more about the sanctuary visit