Eagle Shikari escapes after Storm Katie damages Masham aviary

A Steppe eagle.
A Steppe eagle.

The owners of an eagle are urging people to keep a look-out for the bird after it escaped from its aviary at Swinton Park when it was damaged by high winds.

The Steppe eagle, called Shikari, flew away on Monday and Swinton Park Birds of Prey are appealing for members of the public to contact them if they spot the huge bird of prey around the Masham area.

The post on their Facebook page has been shared more than 400 times and many people have reported sightings of Shikari.

Sophie Abbott, from Swinton Park Birds of Prey, said: "Shikari is a 2 year old Steppe eagle and is used on our experience days here at Swinton Park.

"Due to the high winds in hurricane Kate she had some damage to her aviary and got loose.

"She is tame and very friendly but we recommend anyone who sees her contacts us to collect her as handling an eagle requires experience due to their large size.

"Although Steppe eagles are large they are mainly a scavenging species, eating carrion, small rodents and termites in the wild so please be reassured she won't be a threat to anyone or their pets.

"I originally rescued Shikari from a pig farm near Blackpool where she had been bought by someone as a pet who realised they couldn't cope with a bird of her size, and have spent many hours rehabilitating her and building up her flying skills and I am devastated she is missing.

"She weighs roughly 8.5lb and has a two metre wingspan, she also has rope straps (jesses) attached to her legs."

A number of sightings have been reported at the village of Well, near Bedale, however despite searching for a number of hours the owners were unable to track her down.

Yesterday she was believed to have been spotted grabbing a rabbit near Kirby Malzeard and she was also recently sighted near Nosterfield Quarry, between Ripon and Bedale.