Living with an owl is ‘a hoot’ says Scottish safari park keeper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

“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.”

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.

Benedict, the European eagle owl chick, with keeper Dave Warren's niece with Sasha Boulton. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Benedict, the European eagle owl chick, with keeper Dave Warren's niece with Sasha Boulton. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

“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 gets comfortable on the sofa. 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

Benedict is still just six weeks old. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire