Search

Having a lovely time ...

PUBLISHED: 15:05 14 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:46 02 March 2010

FETLAR the owl, who made a break for freedom from a Suffolk sanctuary, is resisting attempts to recapture him as he dines out on rabbit and enjoys all the attention from fascinated onlookers.

FETLAR the owl, who made a break for freedom from a Suffolk sanctuary, is resisting attempts to recapture him as he dines out on rabbit and enjoys all the attention from fascinated onlookers.

As revealed in the Evening Star last month, Fetlar, a five-year-old pure white snowy owl which resembles the one from the Harry Potter movies, made his escape on his first flight of the year on March 26.

Andy Hulme, spokesman for the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary at Stonham Barns, near Stowmarket, said Fetlar is the first snowy owl bred from the sanctuary, which makes him very special to everyone there.

Mr Hulme and other workers started searching a ten-mile radius of the sanctuary for the bird, which is approximately 20 inches tall and has a wingspan of four feet six inches, after the escape of the "Stonham one''.

Julie Finnis, warden at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, said he has now been found in the Dunwich area but is proving tricky to recapture.

Fetlar the owl is managing to capture rabbits and loves all the attention from holidaymakers in the area for the Easter holiday.

She said: "There are constant sightings of him, he has taken up residence in Dunwich. But the difficulties are twofold.

"He is managing to feed himself, catching rabbits, and because of the Easter break there are a lot of people, and so he has a particularly varied audience.''

The sanctuary has someone keeping an eye on him, in case he moves on. But if Fetlar the owl remains there until after the Easter holiday, sanctuary staff hope that when it is quieter they can lure him down with some easy food, catch him, and return him home to the sanctuary where they love him.

Some bird enthusiasts argue that owls like Fetlar are native to the UK, although these days the only wild ones are visitors from northern Europe. They are naturally found in northern Europe, or north America.

The saga in Suffolk started after Fetlar was being exercised by falconer Gary Butcher, on Friday March 26, at about 2pm. He flew as normal for a few minutes, before flying off and landing in the field across the A1120 which runs alongside the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary.

Before Mr Butcher could reach him he was mobbed by rooks and taking off in panic started heading north, which was more or less with the wind.

Fetlar, who was hatched and hand-reared at the sanctuary, is not only a favourite of the visitors, but is particularly special to the staff. He flies in demonstrations directly from his aviary and does not have the leather anklets or jesses that other demonstration birds have.

N Do you have a story about a pet taking an incredible journey? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star