Wiltshire missing eagle owl found after 13 months
An eagle owl which flew off after being spooked by a hosepipe has been found five miles from home in Wiltshire.
Bella flew away from Mere Down Falconry on 14 May 2018.
Her owner, Allan Gates, said: "I was really concerned she would end up starving to death, but she's obviously been catching stuff and looking after herself."
She was found soaking wet, but sitting "quite happily" on a post in the garden of a house in Hill Deverill.
'Hissed a little'
Mr Gates received hundreds of calls of possible sightings, but most of them turned out to be buzzards or tawny owls.
Early on Friday a dog walker called him to say his pets chased an owl with "big, big orange eyes" out of the grass.
Bella escaped the dogs by flying up to sit on a fence post.
"Looking at her, she's got a few feathers missing on the front of her wings and around her eyes.
"I think she's got into a fight with something last night and then she's got on the ground and got water-logged and that was it - she couldn't go anywhere," said Mr Gates.
He said she only "hissed a little bit" when he arrived to collect her.
Bella has since been fed with quails and day-old chicks and is drying out.
Mr Gates has said he would micro-chip the bird in case she tries to fly off again.
She may return to her falconry displays.
"I've been stroking her chest with a gloved hand and she hasn't run away or got nasty so I'm going to play it by ear and see if I can get her back in the team and working again," said Mr Gates.