‘Horror owl’ can be caught, province says

Eagle owlNoord-Holland province has approved a permit to catch the eagle owl which has attacked several people in the town of Purmerend.

Eagle owls are a protected species and the province had to give official permission for it to be caught. A Purmerend town council spokesman said a falconer has been brought in to try to catch the bird in ‘the most animal friendly way possible’.

Once caught, the bird will be taken to an aviary to try to find out if it has escaped from captivity. Otherwise ‘another solution’ will be found, the spokesman told news agency ANP.

Wild eagle owls, which can have wingspans of up to two metres, are usually found close to the German border. Experts think the owl in an escapee because it is not afraid of people.

Locals have been advised to use an umbrella while out walking in the area where the owl has been spotted to prevent attacks.

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