A MOUNTAIN rescue team tested their skills with an unusual mission to recover an owl from a pond – albeit a wooden sculpture.

A member of Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team volunteered the group to save the missing sculpture after it was spotted floating in a small pond at the Flatts Lane Country Park, near Middlesbrough.

The retrieval of the carved owl was turned into a team building exercise with members using specialist equipment to haul the almost quarter of a ton of oak from the edge of the pond and then loaded onto a stretcher.

Steve Glasper, the team training officer, said: “We have considerable experience of rescuing live animals but this was obviously a little unusual but we were able to turn it into a positive training experience whilst helping the Flatts Lane Centre – clearly win win.”