Missing giant owl suspected of double pet attack

A rabbit lover believes his pets may have been attacked and killed by a giant owl that went missing after an aviary was broken into last month.

Gary Miller of Sefton Road, Stevenage heard a “terrible screeching” coming from his back garden on Sunday night and ran out to find his two pet rabbits “in a bad way” and a bird screaming from up in a tree at the end of his property.

“We heard the commotion – a hawk or an owl has come in the garden and killed one of our rabbits and another rabbit is hurt. There was a terrible screeching. We looked up in the tree and could hear this. But it was dark, so we couldn’t see. It was definitely a bird.”

There were no exterior injuries, or blood on the five-year-old pets, leading Mr Miller to think they were picked up and dropped.

“She is quite big. The one that was killed is as fat as a pig. She would have been heavy to hold.”

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He added the attack reminded him of a story reported in the Comet of an Eagle Owl taken from a back garden aviary in Holly Copse in the town on September 14. Police said it was either stolen or deliberately released.

The mottled brown bird with distinctive black ear tufts is one of the biggest owls in the world, standing at around two-and-a-half feet.

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Herts Police confirmed the bird has not been recovered. A woman did call officers on October 12 to report a possible sighting of the owl over Weston, however.

“If there was a big bird around it could also get people’s cats,” Mr Miller warned. “If it’s out on the prowl it would be hungry.”

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