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New sightings of European eagle owl amid fears of threat to wildlife


Further sightings have been reported of a European eagle owl seen flying over the roof tops in Leicester.

The bird, which is believed to have escaped from its owner, was seen three times in the Beaumont Leys area on Sunday.

It was then spotted in the Taverners Road area of Beaumont Leys on Tuesday and again by a dog walker in the Abbey Park area later in the evening.

Andy Tasker, 40, was walking his terrier Pippy near the canal in Abbey Park at about 6.30pm.

He said: "I was going through some long grass when this large bird took off in front of me.

"It was pretty large and its wingspan was easily 6ft across. It was only 2ft away.

"It started to circle and was intrigued by the bells on Pippy's collar.

"It had bells and tether straps on its legs and responded to Pippy's bells by circling around.

"It was definitely tame as it was not phased by us at all and then it just flew off."

Mr Tasker, of Belgrave, Leicester, said: "It looked as if it was hunting."

Earlier on Tuesday, at about 3.20pm, the bird was seen perching on a roof in Taverners Road, Beaumont Leys.

A resident said: "It seemed to be pretty docile and sat on the roof for a long time." RSPB spokesman Grahame Madge said: "If at all possible, this bird should be captured and brought back into captivity, both to eliminate the risk of it causing harm to local wildlife, as well as for its own sake.

"The eagle owl is highly prized by falconers, but we should be mindful of the potential threats our native wildlife could face from invasive species.

"Eagle owls are known to kill other birds of prey and owls."

• Click on the owl icons to see details of owl sightings. Have you seen the European eagle owl in Leicester or have you lost one? Please contact newsdesk by email: newsdesk@leicestermercury.co.uk or call 0116 222 4243.
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New sightings of European eagle owl amid fears of threat  to wildlife

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