Page last updated at 20:16 GMT, Friday, 14 August 2009 21:16 UK

Missing owl hope after sighting

Bubo the eagle owl
Bubo the eagle owl flew away from her owner's garden last November

A breeder whose large female European Eagle Owl disappeared eight months ago believes she may still be living wild nearby.

Five year-old Bubo flew away from Michael Felini's garden in St Mellons, Cardiff last November.

Now the RSPCA is appealing for people to lookout for one of the birds which has been spotted loose in Pontcanna, a couple of miles across the city.

Mr Felini, 47, said he is hopeful that this bird is his missing owl.

The car executive now has six more owls, but Bubo, who has a wingspan of over five foot, was his first. He raised her from a chick, and was extremely fond of her.

"She flew off last November after I foolishly gave her a little bit too much food, so she didn't need to get any more," said Mr Felini.

I'm sure I will be quite tearful if it really is her
Michael Felini

When she first disappeared, there were literally hundreds of possible sightings of Bubo, but she had gone by the time he went to investigate, he said.

"For months I drove around with fresh food in my car hoping to find her, but didn't," he said.

"Now although all European Eagle Owls look alike I am sure I would recognise her if I saw her again."

The RSPCA said an officer was called to an address in the Pontcanna area of Cardiff on Friday morning and watched the the large bird, thought to be an eagle owl, in a residential garden.

The bird flew away before attempts could be made to detain and trap.

An RPSCA spokesman said anyone spotting the bird should contact them immediately.

Eagle owls are predatory birds and feed off small animals.

Mr Felini, who has offered a reward for the return of his Bubo, said he will be contacting the RSPCA following this sighting of an eagle owl.

He said before she flew off, Bubo would watch television for hours.

"I still have hope. I raised her from a chick and she has a special personality," he added.

"I'm sure I will be quite tearful if it really is her."



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