Owners of small dogs or puppies in Devon have been warned of the possibility of their pet being carried off – by a huge Eagle Owl that is on the hunt for prey.
The residents of Bideford did a double take as they spied the massive bird perched on a window ledge. Nina Wickman, 31, had a close encounter with the bird, and spoke of how bystanders were trying to work out what it was. When it spread its wings to fly, she managed to get a picture of it. Speaking to the Daily Mail, she said:
“It was an incredible sight. It’s not every day you see a giant bird of prey in a busy street.
“When it flew off, it unleashed this huge wingspan. I would be a little nervous if I had a small dog or cat.”
The Eagle Owl is not a native of the British Isles, and is one of the largest species of owl anywhere in the world. Boasting a wingspan of 6ft, they have been known to carry of a roe deer for lunch. With that in mind, a Shih Tzu or Chihuahua would prove to be no match for it at all.
It’s unknown how the owl came to be in Devon, but there has been some speculation that it has been set free by a private owner after it got too big.
David Rampling, an expert from the nearby Milky Way Bird of Prey centre, gave an impassioned plea:
“If anyone sees this owl please call me and I will do my best to catch it in the most humane way possible.”
“Unfortunately some eagle owl owners don’t realise the amount of work and experience needed to keep a bird of this type.”
“They are difficult to train and it’s not uncommon for them to escape.”