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back to article Police issue lock-up-your-chihuahuas killer owl warning

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 ducked …

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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.

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Paris Hilton

"The owl is unlikely to attack humans, but it could try to carry off a... small dog"

Sounds perfect. Can we release some more? Can we urge the Reg army of Opel spotters to help protect the creature by throwing would-be trappers off the scent? (Paris, because her bagmutt has to be next).

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Anonymous Coward

The owl & the duck

'the owl is unlikely to attack humans'.....

'The owner went into the enclosure and the owl flew at him. He ducked': Twit

At least one of these statements is true. But which one?

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A pedant comments ...

"(aka Eurasian eagle owl, bubo bubo)"

It's Bubo bubo

Shame on you — the genus name ALWAYS starts with a capital (the species name is always in lower case).

Tsk, tsk!

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Go

What if...

.. the bird actually MATED with one of the cats it stole? Would we get actual, real-life griffns??*

That'd be well cool!

*Or gryphons, or griffons, etc..

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Happy

Appropriate Equipment...

...a shotgun?

Oh, and does Ronnie Corbett live in Wiltshire?

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Joke

More likley to be........

An old fashioned Bi-Plane, the front of which opens and closes in a snapping manner if I recall correctly :-)

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Happy

That's brightened my day

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".

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Troll

appropiate team?

"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

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"Hawk / Kestral manouvers in the dark"

Oh, God, that one was damn near physically painful. You, sir, should be ashamed of yourself.

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Never mind chihuahuas

If you're smaller than a deer, you've got big, big problems if an eagle owl decides it wants a piece of you. So labradors, great danes, muntjac deer, children...

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Go

If it want's to eat the cats...

I say leave it free...

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IT Angle

Any chance

Any chance of hiring it to tidy up the surplus canines / felines around here?

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Flame

It used to be native once upon a time

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.

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one wonders

if they would swoop down and snatch up a wild beaver.

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Anonymous Coward

At least it's not a Bubo virginianus

Bubo virginianus is apparently the only owl (and only bird of prey) known to have killed humans.

But it'll only attack you if it thinks you are threatening its territory ...

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Wish there were more

Love to have a few around here to cull the local cat shit generating population.

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Linux

Has it gone

AOWL?

Ithankyew.

(AC 'cos I've already had my comment).

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Unhappy

Way to scaremonger!

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.

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Gates Horns

Disappointment

And here I was hoping that this great bloody predator would snaffle a few of these small yapping surly dogs. Moggies now, different story.

This is the closest to a predator icon I could find...

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Silver badge

What about the birds?

Will it eat starlings and pigeons too or do I need to find an escaped falcon?

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Badgers

animal expert

"we do no(t) know which parts of our native fauna it would pick on for its prey"

Really? Nobody at the RSPB knows what it eats?

Also did nobody think to tag this metre tall, pet eating monster with some kind of gps tracker?

You could easily strap an iPad to something that size.

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Happy

What if ...

And or Griffin !

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Just tell plod it's a Brazilian owl

And they'll send CO-19 round to chase and corner it then shoot it 11 times in the head in self defence.

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So if the Mosquito is banned...

So if the Mosquito is banned, can we deploy Eagle Owls to deal with hordes of chavlings?

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h 6
WTF?

An eagle owl?

So, is it an eagle or an owl?

These weird Brit names like University College.

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Deep truths of owl and human nature

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?

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spiderman? green lantern? kids' stuff

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 ...

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Grenade

Great!

That's quite near here .. I'll keep my gun loaded

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Boffin

Eagle owl prey

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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Welcome

Carries off cats and small dogs...

A win/win situation then! More like this please.

Next: Monster carries off charvers and assorted marketing people...

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Pint

Ha

Only in Wiltshire... this would never happen in Dorset!

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Coat

0845 number to call the police?

5/10p a minute, then theres a awfully convenient owl escape.

i sense shenanigans!

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Paris Hilton

Maybe they can

rake its reflection out of a pond?

Paris, in case everyone's forgotten the Wiltshire Moonrakers.

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one metre tall?

I don't believe that it's as tall as a 7 year old boy.

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