Rare Bengalese Eagle Owl swoops into Lowestoft

ANGLERS in the Lowestoft area are not an easy bunch to impress.

Perch, carp, bream – and the occasional pike – are all regular fayre for the local fishing fraternity.

But one man on his way to Oulton Broad landed the most amazing catch of his life when he netted a rare eagle owl.

The Bengalese Eagle Owl was found in the south Oulton Broad area on January 2 – and now the search is on to find its owners.

The species is usually found in South Asia, but mystery surrounds where this one came from.

The fisherman who found it contacted the Norfolk-based Raptor Trust and it is currently being looked after by Kevin and Marion Rackham, of Swallowfields, in Carlton Colville.

They have been associated with the trust for 10 years and are called upon about once a month to look after wild birds.

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Mrs Rackham said: 'We pick up kestrels, barn owls and tawny owls, but have never come across one of these before.

'A man found the owl when he was on his way to go fishing. He caught it with his fishing net and put it in a cage in his car, before contacting us.'

The Raptor Trust treats sick and injured birds of prey, returning them to their homes and, where possible, releasing them back into the wild.

However, the Bengal Eagle Owl cannot be released in the UK and must instead be re-homed if its owners cannot be found.

Mrs Rackham said: 'We are basically trying to find who it belongs to. You can't call them pets because they never get friendly, and, from the way it behaves, it does not look like it has been handled at all.'

If you know who may have lost the bird contact the Raptor Trust on 07931423695.