Living with an owl is '˜a hoot' says Scottish safari park keeper

A European eagle owl chick has been making himself at home at the house of a keeper from Scotland's safari park.

Benedict the European eagle owl chick from Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling, at home with his keeper Dave Warren. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The fledgling, which is six-and-a half-weeks old, has been staying at Blair Drummond Safari Park keeper Dave Warren’s home.

Keepers at the park decided to call the owl Benedict after Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch because of its inquisitive nature.

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Imprinting, or hand rearing, an owl is a process used to totally desensitise the bird to everyday disturbances that may otherwise scare it.

Benedict, the European eagle owl chick from Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling, at the home of keeper Dave Warren, with his niece Keetah Boulton. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Mr Warren has been looking after the owl while his nieces Keetah, 12, and Sasha Boulton, 14, from Canada were visiting.

Sasha said: “We knew Dave worked at the safari park, but we didn’t realise he would be bringing it home with him.

“It was awesome to see Benedict. He was unexpectedly fluffy and very comical.

“We can’t wait to see him fly when he is a bit older.”

Benedict investigates a washing machine. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Mr Warren has had his hands full as Benedict prepares to fly for the first time.

He said: “It’s been a hoot having Benedict in the house at the same time as the girls.

“He’s growing so fast. It’s hard to believe he’s only six-and-a-half weeks old.

“I’m in no doubt he’ll be a firm favourite when he makes his debut this weekend at the safari park’s bird of prey flying demonstrations”.

Benedict, the European eagle owl chick, with keeper Dave Warren's niece with Sasha Boulton. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Benedict gets comfortable on the sofa. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Benedict is still just six weeks old. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire