The Little Owl – one of the UK’s smallest owl species – was found on Friday lunchtime (August 16) by a lady walking with her young son in Eversley Park, Low Street, Sherburn-in-Elmet.
The lady had spotted some youths around 16 years of age acting suspiciously near a tree.
When she went to investigate, she found the bird with blue twine wrapped tightly around its wing. The owl had then been hung from one branch and the twine tied to a second branch, leaving the bird suspended in mid-air by its wing.
The bird had then been spun round and round in the breeze and the twine had tightened so much that it had cut through its wing and into the flesh.
The lady put her child onto her shoulders and between them they got the owl down. She took it to the local vet, where the creature had the twine removed and was given anti-shock treatment and other medication to relieve its pain.
The animal is now being cared for by Selby Wildlife Rehabilitation, but was so badly injured that it may have to be put down.
The RSPCA and police are investigating the cruel act.
Annette Pyrah, from Selby Wildlife Rehabilitation, said the owl had suffered severe injuries to his wing.
“He has deep lacerations where the twine has dug into his side,” she said.
“He survived the night, but may never be able to fly again. He will be seen again by the vets who will advise his ongoing care or whether he has to be put to sleep”.
A reward of £300, with another £500 pledged on the social media site Twitter, is being offered to anyone with information which could help find the culprits. Call police via 101.
“Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.”