Eagle owl escapes

AN EAGLE owl with a five-and-a-half foot wing span which could potentially attack cats and dogs is today on the loose in Ipswich.The European Eagle Owl, ironically named Tiny, took flight early this morning after chewing through a leash at her home in Valley Road.

AN EAGLE owl with a five-and-a-half foot wing span which could potentially attack cats and dogs is today on the loose in Ipswich.

The European Eagle Owl, ironically named Tiny, took flight early this morning after chewing through a leash at her home in Valley Road.

Her owner, who wishes to remain nameless, said she could be dangerous and warned people to be on the look-out for the bird.

He said: “She would go for a cat or dogs and would go for small animals.


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“She could get anything up to the size of a not very large whippet.

“I wouldn't suggest anyone picks her up. I have a triple skin kangaroo leather glove and she has gone straight through that.”

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Tiny's owner believes she may have been plotting her escape for at least a day.

He said she is kept in his garden with a leash and has jessies, small straps, attached to her legs.

He added: “When I went out this morning I found one of her jessies on the floor and her leash still tied up to its perch.

“It is not exactly stuff they can just pull off and chew through in minutes

“This is something she has been contemplating I think. The end of the leash is really frayed up.”

Her owner has also keeps another Eagle Owl called Samson, both of the birds are nine-months-old and are brother and sister.

They are full-size, adult birds.

He also keeps a Peregrine Falcon and uses the birds in displays and to hunt.

He warned people not to approach Tiny and said she may become irritable if cornered.

“She will get stroppy and could hurt a person. She might puff herself out and I would think that would warn people to come away from her,” he added.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the bird should contact her owner on 07884 395914.

European Eagle Owl - fast facts

N The European Eagle Owl is largest species of owl in the world. It lives all over mainland Europe and is particularly concentrated in Scandinavia. Formerly found in Britain, it has been absent here since the eighteenth century.

N Like all woodland owls it has prominent tufts on its head. These are not ears, which like all owls are hidden openings in the downy feathers on the front of the face. Instead, the tufts possibly have a role in display and attracting a mate.

N They can live up to 40 years in the wild, even longer in captivity. Eagle owls are nocturnal and have excellent night vision and hearing to hunt in woodland areas at night. Their diet is entirely meat, consisting mostly of mice, voles and rats but their tremendous size and power also means they are easily capable of taking rabbits or even small deer.

N The owls are 65-70cm. Females are larger than males and can weigh up to 4kg.

N They live in forests, woodland, rocky and mountain areas.

N They start to fly after eight weeks and are fully independent after six months.

Source: The British Wildlife Centre.

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