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Residents 'terrorised' by wild eagle owl called 'Eyeballs'

The bird of prey attacked a pet poodle named Minnie and a gardener before it was captured

It's a deadly and predatory animal and has been known to prey on mice, squirrels and even hedgehogs.

But this wild owl, nicknamed 'Eyeballs', has been preying on residents, terrorising them and making them feel trapped in their own home, it is claimed.

The eagle owl, which has a 6ft wingspan, was captured after it attacked a poodle and a gardener and the safety of children was called into question in Northam, Devon.

But the deadly animal was treated like a tame animal by one resident, who even referred to it as "a pet cat".

Locals Sandra and Peter Morris called experts from Owls R Us to remove the owl from the town after it attacked their poodle, Minnie. 

Mr Morris, 65, said: "Minnie was in the garden and I saw the owl swoop. I got in the way to protect the dog and the bird flew into me.

"It didn't draw blood or knock me over but it was a big weight. We love the bird to bits. We have seen it in our garden since February, but it was just the risk it was posing.

"We were beginning to feel really trapped in our home and it really has been a worry."

The owl was captured in a net after specialists from Owls R Us lured it using a female bird as bait.

The man who had welcomed the owl into his home, who did not want to be named, said: "I used to shout for Eyeballs and he would come to the window, he was so friendly, he was like a pet cat."

Nicknamed because of his large orange and purple eyes, the owl would visit the man's house, swoop onto his window sill and hopped around his living room.



Another resident, Dave Wheldal, 40, said the bird drew blood from the neck of his gardener.

He said: "He tried to swoop at me but it was only because I saw the shadow coming over that I ducked in time.

"We have a 14-year-old and seven-year-old and we haven’t let them out in the garden for two or three months.

"When I heard it had been caught, it felt like a weight had been lifted.''

PC Martin Beck, a police wildlife liaison officer, confirmed an investigation was ongoing to find out if the owl had been caught legally after the resident who invited the owl into his home raised questions about its capture.

A spokesman for Owls R Us would not comment while the investigation was ongoing.

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