An eagle owl, which has been spotted in the Zeeland town of Hulst may have escaped from a private home in Sint Niklaas in Belgium.
The owl, which was seen perched on a school gate, defied attempts by local animal ambulance staff to catch it and retreated to an impregnable position on a nearby roof.
The public has been asked to leave the bird in peace and not try to catch it themselves. If and when the bird is spotted again the ambulance staff will try again. ‘The animal is fine and this is not emergency,’ a spokesman told Omroep Zeeland.
He also warned that taking selfies with the owl is not a good idea. ‘It’s a wild animal with sharp claws. Just respect it and enjoy looking at it,’ he said.
Tommy Beyaert from Sint Niklaas told the broadcaster he thinks the owl is his. ‘It escaped a couple of weeks ago and we have tried everything to catch it, food, netting, but nothing worked.’
Beyaert said birds that live with people are not normally shy but that the owl is young and untrained. Instead of the owl posing a danger to people, he fears it may be the other way around. ‘He is absolutely not dangerous. All he wants is a cuddle,’ Beyaert said.
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