Rescue plea as ‘vulnerable’ owl swooping on people in ‘attacks’ across Black Country
A Great Horned Owl has been sighted in the Sedgley area since September last year, although the situation has recently escalated after claims a child had been ‘attacked’ by the bird.
Staff at Brockswood Animal Sanctuary on Catholic Lane in Sedgley have also urged people to share an appeal to find the owners of the owl, which they say is “obviously an escaped pet”.
Barbara Royle, the owner of the International Bird Registry, wants to emphasize that people should not approach the owl, she said: “From her behavior we suspect that she is now looking for a mate. She is protective of her territory due to her breeding conditions.
“With all the publicity, I’m surprised someone hasn’t come forward and I would suspect it was let loose on purpose.”
Several members of the community have taken to the Sedgley and Coseley (past and present) Facebook page to express their concerns about the owl, which is said to be “weak” and “unable to catch its own food”.
However, some people have criticized the online comments, saying they are “endangering him by posting utter nonsense. The owl does not go around attacking animals”.
A person named Christine called the RSPCA Monday night when she spotted the bird in her yard and said workers from the animal rights group were “visiting the property regularly until they catch it.”
She wrote: “Members of the RSPCA visited my property last night and made contact with the owl, they are building trust at the moment and will be visiting my property regularly until they can catch it.
“You have assured me that all pets are safe. I hope this allays your concerns.”
The appeal from Brockswood read: “Please share. Do any of you know someone close by (or possibly a little further afield) who has lost an owl? We have received reports of a spotted eagle owl in Dudley/Sedgley These are not a native species and are obviously an escaped pet.
“We have been trawling through the various lost animal pages but have not been able to find any reference to this bird and would like to help find its home. We hope you can help us with the power of social media.”
Numerous people have commented on online posts and many have invested to see the bird being rescued and cared for.
A woman named Sue said: “Unfortunately the owl has attacked Jay and our neighbor and we are fighting with our dogs in our back garden, I think she escaped.
“There are now two neighbors on Turls Hill Road who have been physically attacked by this owl, one with scratches on the scalp.
“Please note that people are also concerned about their dogs. Someone has a contact with a falconry and is now talking to them about it. As good as it is to know that the owl made it through the winter, it is worrying.”
Trudie added: “Please please be more vigilant with your dogs and cats in your back gardens unfortunately she tried to swoop down on one of my dogs.”
Nadja added: “He’s been roaming around the Sedgley area for about three months, the Bird Conservation Register has tried to catch him but he’s had nothing, hasn’t seen him in weeks.
“He was in Turls Hill Road, either kicked out by the owner for not being reported lost where we tried, or far from home.”
According to some posts, the owl was also sighted in the Northway area in September and later in Bilston.
Another woman said: “My 13-year-old son was attacked by a bird of prey yesterday. He thinks it might have been a big owl. She was near the allotment gardens. I thought I’d make people aware of that.”
A woman named Dawn said: “You can protect it by any means, nobody wants to harm it, but you have to understand the seriousness of the problem here.
“We have a child with stab wounds and the mother said there was blood everywhere, including the other two people who were attacked, one was almost thrown to the ground because it’s so strong.
“We all want to protect them, as do you, and being caught is the safest option for the owl and the local people.”
However, another woman added: “The owl does not walk around and does not attack animals! He is very afraid of people, so it’s best to be calm around him.
“You are endangering him by posting utter nonsense. He visits me regularly and as you know I have animals. This owl is tame and has never attacked me or my family and I have petted it.”
Express & Star has contacted the RSPCA for comment.
Do you have pictures of the owl? Please send this to [email protected]