A large bird of prey that went missing for over a week has been reunited with its owner.
The seven kilo hybrid eagle was spotted on Tuesday at Sandford Quarry in Somerset by a member of the public before it was captured the next day by a bird expert.
It had escaped from its owner near Puxton Park in North Somerset, and was eventually discovered several days later in a state of distress and very hungry.
Bird specialist Lloyd Buck, who has worked with eagles for more than 30 years, managed to retrieve the bird which is a cross between a Golden Eagle and a Steppe Eagle.
Mr Buck said: “When I arrived at the quarry I was expecting a smaller bird of prey.
“It presented me with a dilemma because it was a much bigger bird than the cage I had brought. Fortunately an animal store was able to lend me a larger travel cage.
“I assumed the eagle would be extremely hungry, and unsurprisingly it flew over when it saw I had food. It ate a quail egg very quickly.”
Debbie O’Keffe, of the Secret World Animal Rescue Centre, said it was the largest bird the team there had ever treated. “The bird is a beautiful, stunning creature. Our staff members were bemused by the discovery because it is not a native bird. When it arrived everyone flocked to reception, wanting to see the spectacular bird for themselves.
“We had difficulty working out the type of eagle, but we knew for a fact it belonged to someone and wanted it returned safely.
“We were all in awe. You don’t normally come across birds like it, especially at an animal rescue site. I have never seen anything like it.”