Plea to look out for missing eagle owl around Fakenham

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Fakenham residents are being urged to keep an eagle-eye out for an unusual bird after its owner reported it missing or stolen on Friday morning.

The European Eagle Owl, known as Sam, is believed to have been stolen from a back garden at a property in Tunn Street sometime between 3am and 8.45am.

Owner James Mann said: “I normally keep Sam at my girlfriend’s house, but he’s halfway through moulting at the moment so I’ve been keeping him in the rain to encourage is feathers to fall out.

“Someone came into the garden and unclipped him from his perch, I’m hoping they just unclipped him and didn’t steal him as well, They won’t be able to sell him because I have all the paperwork.”

The owl, which is brown in colour and fully grown, has been with Mr Mann for around a year.

Mr Mann said: “He’s not a strong flier, but people might see him perched on houses or at the bottom of a tree. I’m hoping he hasn’t gone too far.

“If people spot him, they should contact me via the police rather than try to approach him, as he will fly away. I’ve spent a lot of time imprinting him on me so that he will come to me.”

The bird also went missing earlier this year after being attacked by buzzards while hunting, but once located, Mr Mann was able to collect him and return Sam safely to his perch.

He said: “In a few days he will start to get hungry and will start to hunt, but he is quite a timid bird and is easily frightened by dogs, but will hunt animals like rabbits.”

Anyone with information should contact PC Paul Scarborough at Fakenham Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.