Dartmoor Roxey the tame barn owl, above, seemed relieved to be found after surviving for four days in the wild. When she was found by a passing motorist she hopped on to his arm and flew into his van as soon as he opened the door.
George Hedges, who has hand-reared the two-year-old bird since she was five days old, said: “I think she was saying ‘take me home’.”
The bird had no experience of hunting for her own food or avoiding predators, but managed to travel 20 miles with leather straps still fastened round her legs.
Roxey escaped from the back of a horsebox travelling at 50mph on a motorway. Mr Hedges, who runs Devon’s Eagles, a falconry centre on Dartmoor, was forced to brake sharply, loosening the catch on the owl’s cage. She sat on the back of the horsebox for 20 miles then launched into space, narrowly avoiding being run over and crashing into a grass banking near Salisbury. Other drivers flagged down Mr Hedges.
He said: “We went back to try and find her but there was no sign. I feared the worst.”
For four days Mr Hedges heard nothing, then he had a call to say that a couple had found the owl.
He said: “When I went to pick her up she flew straight out of the cage she was in and into my hands.”
From The TimesOnline.