You couldn't make it up
"Mark Avery" from the RSPB?
I know, a bit of a stretch, but I still snorted tea when I read it.
Wiltshire police have warned locals "not to approach" an escaped European eagle owl which could, if it felt a bit peckish, make off with cats and diminutive dogs. The animal flew its coop in Lower Stratton on Sunday. A Wiltshire Police spokeswoman summarised: “The owner went into the enclosure and the owl flew at him. He …
First we learn that Wiltshire Police have an "appropriate team with the right sort of equipment" to deal with escaped owls
If I was cynical I would suggest that a PCSO holding up a rabbit carcase (or a chihuahua) and another with a big net might suffice.
Unless anyone wanted to photograph the capture in which case a full squad in riot gear might be advisable.
Next we learn that the Director of conservation for the RSPB is called Mark Avery.
Finally he gives us one of the all time great "well duh" quotes: "it would be better if people who own captive eagle owls did not let them escape".
"If anyone spots the owl they should contact police and we will send an appropriate team with the right sort of equipment to catch it.”
If it gets a cat up a tree, it'll be the firebrigade
if not, will it be a bloke with a big net on a stick or a sniper?
after dusk they'll send a bloke with two small birds of prey and we'll have Hawk / Kestral manouvers in the dark.
AC for sooo many reasons
If it becomes "native" it will eat what it used to eat before humans wiped it out as they did with wolves, beavers and other animals that got in their way.
It will also eat what fits its general "target profile" and is in abundance. Nowdays this means a choice of grey squirrel or grey squirrel. Anything that eats those pests is welcome.
Ok, I'm gonna establish some credentials. I used to work with European Eagle Owls as a Falconer so, I kinda know a little bit
WTF is the Times on about? Ok, MAX, and I mean MAX wingspan is 2m. 1m tall? Is it fuck as like. "Lock up your cats and dogs, there's a killer on the loose"???? God, it's as bad as "it's for the children". These things, are NOT that flaming big, are not agressive unless it's pissed off and frankly they are at bigger risk of dying than of killing.
More commonly these guys are about 1/2m from talon to top of ears and close 1 1/2m wingspan. You want an idea how big, bend your arm at the elbow so your upper arm is vertical, lower arm is horizontal, a big Euro will be able to look in your eyes. Note, a BIG Euro.
They aren't likely to go for anything that is can defend itself and to be brutally honest, they're gorgeous animals, but not too bright, nor too brave, so they're more likely to go for a small injured bunny rather than anything that requires effort.
Can I plead with people to call a local Falconry Centre (if there is one) first before those psychos at the Police or the RSPCA. Get a less than experienced RSPCA guy and that Owl will get injured, and we all know how rational the cops are.
On no great reflection it seems surprising that there is a big Spiderman franchise, for example, but no Owlman franchise. Yet the metaphors are simply gagging. Like you'll never hear the bullet that kills you, so you'll never hear the owl that hits you. Its sense of hearing is preternatural. Its apparel is sleeker than a bat's. Plus, in its alter ego in broad daylight, it appears to be a right dozy bugger - a perfect disguise. FWIW my postmodern reading would make Owlman a big fan of AA Milne. So what is the problem? Evidently anthro/pomo/rphism is involved (c.f. Green Lantern WTF?). Could it be that the projected cultural metonymies are an obstacle? But if Owlman could take Spidermans face/off with his wide eyes shut, what does that say about the calibre of both contemporaneous media studies graduates and storytellers?
In fact for all your wailing to the contrary, if you read Watchmen you'll see that there is an Owl-inspired costumed "superhero" (well, fascist vigilante is probably a more accurate description). Goes by the name "Night Owl".
Who's to say that the idea isn't ripe for a rehash? How about keeping the vigilante angle, and reprising old 3-wood's Equaliser series? Got a problem nobody can help with? Maybe you should call 555-2820 ...
It will probably eat what the wild ones eat, and thats from mouses, bugs upto anything as big as a hare. Small dogs and cats could be in danger sizewise, but theres only one case I've heard that eagle owl has went for a dog, a 6kg terrier who survived the attack. It was so rare it was newsworthy for national papers in Finland.
I'd expect the rabbit and squirrel population would be in danger, but one owl wont make a dent into those numbers.
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