Lock up your pets . . . the eagle owl has landed
IT HAS a six-foot wingspan, can eat a baby deer and is so fierce that even trained animal inspectors are too afraid to approach it.
Yesterday an eagle owl remained on the loose in Fife after apparently escaping from captivity.
Residents in the village of Townhill are being urged to lock their doors and windows and keep their pets firmly out of reach of the beast – one of the world’s most vicious owls.
The Scottish SPCA has been notified but has said that unless an owner can coax it home, the charity will not attempt a capture.
Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “These birds are notoriously difficult to catch and we would only be able to uplift it if already contained.”
The people of Townhill have been captivated by the beautiful bird of prey, which is not native to Britain but has been spotted perching on rooftops and telephone posts, over the last month.
However, the eagle owl is a deadly predator. In the wild it eats rodents, rabbits and hares but has been known to attack cats, small dogs, young deer and even other birds of prey.
As this particular bird is thought to have escaped or been released by a local falconry enthusiast, its poor hunting skills will force it to target easy prey, experts warn.
Wayne Poole, from Kingdom of Fife Falconry, said although the owl may have been hand-reared it will have no trouble hunting for food.
“There are quite a few eagle owls flying around because people get fed up of them, as they can live up to 50 years.
“They are powerful birds and it could easily attack a cat or a small dog if it gets hungry enough.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West