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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 April 2006, 17:16 GMT 18:16 UK
'Happy' owner welcomes owl home
Eagle owl - generic
An eagle owl can be powerful enough to kill a dog or a cat
The owner of a 3ft eagle owl called Fergus has been reunited with the bird after it escaped.

Fergus flew off from a garden in Linlithgow on Monday, sparking concerns for neighbours' pets as the bird of prey could easily kill a dog or cat.

Relieved owner Chris Imlach, 34, said he was contacted on Saturday to be told the owl had been found by a local game keeper.

"I'm really pleased he's back now," Mr Imlach added.

The owl had not eaten for days and Mr Imlach, a recovery driver, had taken time off work to try to find the bird of prey.

'Pleased he's back'

He said: "I was at home, on the other side of Livingston when I received a phone call from the Independent Bird Register this morning - who birds of prey are registered with.

"He had actually been found by a local game keeper in Linlithgow.

"At 6.10am this morning he was sat on the side of the road feeding and they in turn contacted me and went out and enticed him back. I'm really pleased he's back now."

Mr Imlach said an eagle owl's defence mechanism was to lift an animal off the ground.

Fergus had lifted his four stone (25kg) pet Staffordshire bull terrier into the air, he revealed.

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