Special Viennese firefighters flew to the rescue and abseiled down buildings Tuesday after they received an emergency call to save a distressed... owl caught in a net.

Residents alerted the fire department after noticing the bird trapped upside down in a net meant to ward off pigeons, in the courtyard of a residential building.

Unable to reach the owl -- suspended at a height of 15 metres (49 feet) -- using a ladder, the fire department had to call members of its special unit to abseil down from the roof and rescue the feathered victim.

The operation ended happily with the bird brought safely back to the ground and handed over to animal services.