AN ENORMOUS bird of prey capable of snatching cats and dogs is still on the loose in Cheshire – two months after it escaped.
A European eagle owl, called ‘Sue’, managed to free itself from the aviary at Stockley Farm, Arley, and has since been hunting in the wild.
The owl, which boasts a five-foot wingspan, has been sighted in rural areas west of Chester.
More recently, it has been spotted nearer to its home, near Northwich.
Belinda Affleck, secretary at Stockley Farm, said: “It is still on the loose but we think it is around here now as I have seen it swooping down at night.
“Its mate is missing him but obviously he is out there enjoying himself and he can obviously survive in the wild because he has been gone for over two months now.
“Apparently they can take small pets so I wouldn’t want to leave my cat out or let a guinea pig run about in the garden.”
But keeper Gary Buckles, who manages the bird of prey collection, says he is not intending to catch the bird as he believes it could have died.
“People think they have seen an eagle owl when it has just been a tawny owl. They don’t know the difference,” he said.
“I think the bird could be dead as I don’t think he would survive in the wild.
“We have another eagle owl called Dexter at the farm. He once got out to Wincham but we managed to catch him with a fishing net.”
Stockley Farm is a working farm with a collection of birds of prey, goats, lambs, small pets corner and a llama.
The birds of prey are displayed every weekend and every day during the school holidays.
For bookings, call Belinda Affleck on 01565 777323.