Eagle owl still on the run

A HUNT for a missing eagle owl continues in Ipswich today - with experts stepping in to warn people to steer clear of the potentially dangerous bird.A female European eagle owl escaped from her home in Valley Road yesterday after chewing through her leash.

A HUNT for a missing eagle owl continues in Ipswich today - with experts stepping in to warn people to steer clear of the potentially dangerous bird.

A female European eagle owl escaped from her home in Valley Road yesterday after chewing through her leash.

As reported in later editions of yesterday's Star, her owner launched an immediate plea asking people to keep a lookout, fearing she could attack cats and dogs.

Several sightings were made in north west Ipswich yesterday but attempts to capture her failed. In the early hours of this morning the owner was called to a house in Martlesham where the bird had triggered someone's security light.

Today, experts at the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary at Stonham Barns advised anyone who sees the bird not to approach it.

Head warden Julie Finnis said: “First and foremost people should know this type of owl is the largest and most powerful species of owl in the world.

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“Because it's an owl used to people it will be more inclined to head towards people, not open spaces, and is therefore potentially more dangerous.

“It won't be deliberately aggressive but it will be attracted to people and because it's powerful it could be nasty in the wrong hands.

“I've never heard of an eagle owl killing anybody so people don't need to be that alarmed but you shouldn't get close to it.

“An owl raised in captivity has never had to hunt although that's not to say they don't have a hunting instinct.

“But when she starts to get really hungry, perhaps in three or four days, we might be more likely to see her.

“In theory she could go miles but in most cases when they go missing they don't go too far from home.

“What's worrying is they don't have a homing instinct so she might struggle to find her way home.”

The missing owl, ironically called Tiny, was kept in a garden with a leash and had jessies and small straps, attached to her legs.

Her owner, who wants to remain anonymous, found one of her jessies on the floor and her leash still tied up to its perch.

Tiny was kept with her brother Samson and both of the birds are nine-months-old.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Tiny is asked to contact her owner on 07884 395914 or contact The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788.

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