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Animals

Rare eagle named Marvin spotted on the run

Steller's sea eagles can weigh as much as 20 pounds (9kg) and have a wingspan of 8 feet (2.4m).

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By Adam Dutton via SWNS

One of the world's largest and rarest birds of prey has been spotted on a UK golf course after it escaped during a display at Warwick Castle.

The Steller's sea eagle, named Marvin, flew off in front of spectators during a falconry show at the attraction on Friday (29/7).

Handlers have been desperately trying to lure the huge prized bird back to the castle because he is unlikely to survive for longer than a month in the wild.

And golfers were left stunned when he appeared basking in the sun on the fairway of the 14th hole at Stratford Park Golf Course, in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warks.

Local councilor Tony Jackson spotted the bird - which has an 8ft wingspan - as he walked his dog Chewie, a Shih-Tzu/poodle cross on Sunday afternoon (31/7).

He said: "I had been taking a footpath which takes you right across the golf course when I spotted a bird I had never seen before.

"It was rather striking and very large so I took some pictures not knowing what it was before it majestically flew away.

"It didn't seem to be aggressive although to be fair I didn't get that close just in case.

"It was only later when I posted it on social media that I learnt that Marvin had escaped from Warwick Castle and its handlers were searching for him.

An ultra-rare Steller's sea eagle was spotted basking in the sun on a golf course. (Screenshot via YouTube)

"So I reported the sighting to the castle and hopefully he can make it safely back to where he belongs.

"It's not every day you get to see one of the world's largest birds of prey take off in front of you in the wild. It was quite special."

Steller's sea eagles - which are native to Russia, Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan - can weigh as much as 20 pounds (9kg) and have a wingspan of 8 feet (2.4m).

They are on the red list of globally-threatened birds and it is believed there are only 2,000 breeding pairs in the world.

Handlers have since been out searching in the areas where the 11-year-old bird has been sighted using food to try and entice him in.

It is exceptionally rare for any of the birds of prey to fly off for long periods of time as they are highly trained and have strong bonds with their handlers.

Warwick Castle also say that Marvin poses no risk to other animals or the public.

Chris O’Donnell, head falconer at Warwick Castle, said: “We are very worried about Marvin being out, his girlfriend Nikita is really missing him.

"They are the stars of the show and I’ve worked with him every day for 11 years. So I am really missing him and looking forward to his safe return.”

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