Cecil reading up on survey work!
Last spring whilst co-leading a bird walk at Arne RSPB Reserve in Dorset, I had the pleasure of meeting Cecil Fowler, the then fluffy and adorable captive Eagle Owl. I was impressed by his weight as he sat on my gloved arm. We had a special bond and at one time we were both independently looking up watching flocks gulls passing over. He was being primed as an Eagle Owl ambassador to be taken around schools for kids to marvel at his size and whoop when he would spread that impressive wingspan.
The more alert amongst you would have noticed that I used the phrasing 'the then fluffy and adorable captive Eagle Owl'. The news that I heard recently was quite disturbing. He is now an adult and has reverted to being a wild animal who probably wouldn't think twice about taking your eye out and/or sinking those massive talons into a fleshy human appendage!
Obviously, his school days are over and now he is a stud in a breeding program. You can take an owl out of the wild but you can't take the wild out of the owl.