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Swallow chicks rescued from aircraft undercarriage
WHEN it came to teaching her young to fly, a swallow decided to go one better than the rest of the flock - by building her nest in an aircraft undercarriage.
Three tiny chicks, now being cared for at Secret World, got the shock of a lifetime when they found themselves on the move as their BAe 146 cargo plane was towed a quarter of a mile from its open air storage area.
The brood was discovered by the airline's surprised engineering team during a routine inspection at Flybe's New Walker maintenance hanger at Exeter International Airport.
Aircraft support supervisor Tony Arpino said: “We had no idea the nest was in there when we moved the aircraft and there was no sign of the mother bird. It took quite an effort to get the nest out. It was really well stuck in place.”
A Flybe driver then transported the birds 50 miles to Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre near Highbridge.
Mr Arpino said: “The chicks have already travelled around quite a bit with no effort on their part so hopefully they will go on and thrive.”
Secret World founder Pauline Kidner said the baby swallows were none the worse for their adventure and would now be hand reared until they could be released back into the wild.
For more information visit www.secretworld.org