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‘Magnificent’ giant eagle lands in Longleat Safari Park Bath City News

A giant white-tailed eagle has started to land at a wildlife park near Somerset.

The rare bird, which is being reintroduced to the UK, is a regular visitor to Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire.

Also known as the sea eagle, it is the UK’s largest bird of prey and the fourth largest species in the world, with a wingspan of up to 2.5 meters.

They hunt fish, but also birds, mammals and carrion, but are opportunistic hunters and often steal food from other birds.

The female eagle, known as G405, was released back into the wild last year on the Isle of Wight as part of a project to bring giant eagles back to England.

She has become a familiar sight to the keepers of the Wiltshire Wildlife Attraction who believe she might be drawn to the area to feed on the remains of their resident pack of wolves and big cats.

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Longleat Animal Operations Chief Darren Beasley said: “It’s hard to describe the size of sea eagles until you see them with your own eyes.

“They are about double the size of a buzzard and although G405 is still just a youngster having hatched in 2020, he is a truly magnificent bird.

“She spent much of February and March in the area and then headed to Yorkshire as part of a UK tour before returning here last week.”

He added: ‘For a place so well known for its exotic wildlife, the wider Longleat Estate, which has remained largely untouched for centuries, also provides fantastic habitat for a range of rare UK species. .

“For this particular bird, who has flown across the UK on his travels, choosing us as his favorite place to visit is fantastic.”

The giant white-tailed eagle chased a buzzard (Image: Longleat)

The estate is also home to wild otters, red kites, owls, kingfishers and several species of deer and herders are working on a number of conservation projects to encourage the return of more native species.

All of the eagles in the reintroduction program were fitted with radio trackers so their whereabouts were recorded and he revealed that a male eagle, G461, also visited the safari park.

Sea eagles once lived all over the south coast of England from Cornwall to Kent before being driven to extinction by the hunting that began in the Middle Ages, and the last pair bred on Culver Cliff on the Isle of Wight in 1780.

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Following their reintroduction to Scotland – where there are now over 130 breeding pairs – the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation has obtained licenses from Natural England and Scottish Natural Heritage to begin an English reintroduction on the Isle of Wight.

In the United Kingdom, sea eagles are strictly protected under Schedules 1, 1A and A1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004. They are on the Red List of British Birds for Conservation is of concern.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-01 08:13:48