Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

A GI­ANT owl that can snatch dogs, cats or even BA­BIES is bring­ing ter­ror to the skies ABOVE...HAMP­SHIRE!

The mon­ster one-stone ea­gle owl, with a wing­span of 6ft, is one of the fiercest preda­tors in the bird world and is on the hunt­ing over the town of Water­looville near Portsmouth.

Res­i­dent Peter Beasley and daugh­ter Vanessa got a shock when the bird – named Big Mama – swooped within inches of them as it hunted its prey.

The 70-year-old said: “I looked up and it was look­ing at me from a roof. It was enor­mous.

“My daugh­ter came out with her cam­era and it swooped down and just missed her head as it went af­ter a pi­geon. It’s cer­tainly a big beast.

“All the other birds around here were very dis­turbed.”

Vanessa, 40, added: “I was a bit shocked when I saw it.

“It’s not an ev­ery­day thing. I couldn’t get over the size of it.

“It made me a bit wary of putting my baby in the gar­den.”

Keith Bet­ton, county bird recorder for the Hamp­shire Or­nitho­log­i­cal So­ci­ety, said: “The only ones found in Bri­tain are birds that have es­caped from cap­tiv­ity. They are ex­tremely fierce in the bird world.”

Owner Ian Payne, 45, said: “I got into the aviary and be­fore I could get the chance to put the bolt on, she flew to­wards the door and flew straight out. It’s a one-off.”

He added the bird would not have been dan­ger­ous to peo­ple as it was used to be­ing han­dled by hu­mans.

It is not na­tive to Bri­tain and nor­mally lives in the wild in rocky land­scapes like the Pyre­nees or Alps.

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