A LARGE bird of prey capable of taking cats and small dogs is still thought to be on the loose in Cheshire – two months after it escaped.
The European eagle owl, a male called Sue, managed to flee its aviary at Stockley Farm, Arley, and has since been hunting in the wild.
The owl, which has a 5ft wingspan, has been sighted in rural areas west of Chester but, more recently, it has been spotted nearer to its home near Northwich.
Belinda Affleck, secretary at Stockley Farm, said: “Sue’s still on the loose and he’s around here now.
“His mate is missing him but he’s enjoying himself because he’s been gone for over two months now.
“He’s large enough to 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, reckons Sue may be dead already.
“People think they’ve seen an eagle owl when it has just been a tawny owl. They don’t know the difference,” he said. “I think Sue could be dead as I don’t think he would survive in the wild. He’s too domesticated.”
Stockley Farm is a working farm with a collection of birds of prey, animals and small pets.