Somerset

Missing vulture lands at Yeovilton naval air station

Ben Potter and Arthur Image copyright LPhot Dan Rosenbaum
Image caption Owner Ben Potter was "elated" to be reunited with Arthur after he went missing six days ago

A vulture that went missing in Somerset has been found after landing at the Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) at Yeovilton.

Arthur was swept away by a gust of wind during a display at the Royal Bath and West Show on Wednesday.

The 11-year-old bird has now been reunited with owner Ben Potter.

Air Traffic Control alerted RNAS Yeovilton's Bird Control Unit (BCU), which brought Arthur to safety with help from falconer Jim Pitcher.

Image copyright Birds of Prey Displays
Image caption Arthur was swept away by strong winds during a display at the Royal Bath and West Show

Mr Potter, who is head falconer for a birds of prey display team in Scotch Corner, Yorkshire, said he was "elated" to have him back.

He said: "He is a really important part of the team. He is a white-headed vulture and red list endangered, which is just about scarce as you can get.

"Our display team allows us to raise funds and maintain a breeding programme to keep endangered birds of prey like Arthur with us for future generations."

Speaking about the bird's rescue, Nat Cole from the BCU said: "Arthur is a little bigger than I'm used to and was very hungry. but clearly nervous when I approached him.

"Fortunately, falconry skills are the same despite the size difference. We are very happy to see him safely returned".

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