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Samson the eagle finds his way 90 miles home
Tuesday, 31 July 2012
A 12-YEAR-OLD golden eagle went AWOL but managed to navigate its way from Gloucester to its home in Ottery after escaping from a show.
Escot resident falconer Jonathon Marshall had taken Samson to a falconry show at a wedding at Berkeley Castle, in Gloucester, on Saturday July 14th.
But the usually reliable bird disappeared without a trace during the show.
A call for help went out and the search was on.
Jonathon thought that Samson might have suffered an injury, and conducted his own frantic – but fruitless – search of the countryside.
Back at base in Ottery, Jonathon was more or less resigned to the fact that Samson was lost forever.
Jonathon took part in a flying demonstration at Escot a week after Samson disappeared, when the unbelievable happened.
Suddenly Samson appeared, descending on Escot as if nothing untoward had happened.
Jonathon couldn’t believe his luck, but ruled out grounding the errant bird.
After a few days of resting, Samson was back in the sky and has so far stayed on script and returned as planned.
When asked if Samson had gone AWOL before, Jonathon said: “No. But whenever you fly a bird free, there is always a risk.
“I don’t know why it happened but somehow he managed to find his way back.”
Jonathon is also a hang glider and Samson is famous for flying alongside the glider over the cliffs at Woolacombe.
Jonathon said a number of reported sightings make him think that Samson chose a route across the Bristol Channel into north Devon, taking a route including Woolacombe, Bideford, Bude, Launceston and Crediton before landing safely at Escot.
Jonathon said: “He was hungry and tired but otherwise fine.”
A spectator caught the return on video and the footage can be viewed on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z05qiRp0o8&feature=youtu.be
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Sir Ray Tindle
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