A pooped-out racing pigeon has returned home safe and sound after being found grounded at a Lancashire sewage works.
The prized bird, which had failed to return to its loft in Wigan, was found unable to fly at Leyland Wastewater Treatment Works.
United Utilities tanker driver Liam Bateson, from Oswaldtwistle, spotted the stricken pigeon in the grass and, being an animal lover, decided to try to help.
He said: “I was just going to load up when I saw it hobbling around and struggling to fly.
“On its wing I noticed some red and thought it might be bleeding, but when I picked it up it was a phone number. T
“The owner was delighted. It was one of his prized birds.”
He added: “He told me that pigeons who get lost keep flying round and round until their flight muscle gets too weak to take off. I am a bit of an animal lover and I didn’t want it to come to a bad end so my natural instinct was to try to help. I didn’t get chance to give the pigeon a name but I’m told it is expected to make a full recovery.”