Baby owl escapes from jaws of death

June 21, 2010

A baby owl had an amazing escape after it fell from its nest into a zoo enclosure only to leave it face to face – with a LION.
The fluffy tawny owlet managed to survive for three days after it tumbled from a branch and landed inches from the killer lioness.
Onlookers watched as the female Asiatic lion called ‘Indu’ eyed the surprise visitor – who weighed just a few grams.
The owl – who had not yet learned to fly – then spent three days in the enclosure near seven-year-old Indu and her mate.
But amazingly she survived being eaten and after several clumsy efforts eventually managed to take off – and flew away to safety.
The incredible pictures were taken by retired teacher Sheila Hassanein, 64, who was visiting Paignton Zoo in Devon.
Zoo Keeper Lucy Manning said: “The tawny owls nest in a lime tree in the lion enclosure. One day, the chick just turned up on the ground. Indu peered at it for a while but then lost interest. I think it was too small to eat.
“We believe it got away – if she had eaten it there would have been fluff and feathers.”
“It probably flew off – the bird keepers said it was nearly ready to fledge. An adult tawny owl was seen nearby,” she added.
Manning said: “The wonderful thing about the photo is the look on the owlet’s face – it almost seems to be demanding food from the lioness!”


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