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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 25 February, 2003, 18:42 GMT
Huge owl loose at city hall
The European Eagle Owl
The European Eagle Owl is the largest of its species
A three feet tall European eagle owl is reported to be on the loose in Belfast city centre.

The owl, which has a wingspan of about six feet, has been seen flying around City Hall on Tuesday after it escaped from its home the previous day.

Mike Gibb from Wildlife Rescue said people should be careful if they come into contact with it.

"We do hope and pray that we can get it back because they are very big and because it has been brought up by man, it has no fear of humans.

"The problem that can arise with that is sometimes it can fly down looking for food of someone and people could get frightened, they can lash out and the owl can then defend itself," he said.

The European Eagle Owl is the largest species of owl in the world, and is a woodland hunter.

Their size means they can prey on fox and small deer although they will be happier catching smaller prey and regularly hunt for rabbit.


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