A half-naked Czech who climbed up a tree and howled like a dog had to be coaxed down by police negotiators today.

Wearing only a pair of tracksuit bottoms, the man scaled a tree opposite the Lidl store in Cathays, Cardiff, at around 6.30am and refused to come down for two hours.

The police were called by residents complaining about the noise the man was making.

An ambulance was also dispatched to the scene and a firefighting crew was placed on stand-by in case it was needed to bring the man down.

With the help of a Czech interpreter, the man was persuaded to come down just before 8.30am.

Martin Townley, 43, told the South Wales Echo: “When he woke me up I thought it was a dog howling, he was crying.

“I came out to have a chat with him but he just said ‘leave me alone, it’s my tree’.

“When I shouted at him a bit to try and tell him to be quiet, he said ‘that’s a bit inappropriate’. So I called the police.”

A spokeswoman for South Wales Police said the man was not arrested but taken to the mental health hospital in Whitchurch, Cardiff, for “his own safety”.

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