Desperate search for missing barn owl after escape from Hambleton animal sanctuary

A barn owl bred in captivity and unable to hunt for herself has escaped from a Hambleton animal sanctuary, prompting a desperate search to find her to save her life.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 11:18 am

Maus, a 14-year-old barn owl, was taken in by Hugo's Small Animal Rescue and Sanctuary eight days ago.

The sanctuary, with premises in Hambleton, North Shore and Ribbleton, Preston, takes in small animals and birds of prey with a view to rehoming those they are able to.

Yesterday (Tuesday, March 2), Maus escaped from her aviary at the non-profit's Hambleton branch on Grange Road, and a desperate search has begun to find her before she succumbs to starvation.

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A desperate search has begun for missing barn owl Maus, who escaped from Hugo's Small Animal Rescue and Sanctuary's Grange Road, Hambleton branch yesterday. Photo: Bailey Lister

She was bred in captivity, and is therefore unable to hunt for herself, relying on humans for food.

Bailey Lister, who co-founded Hugo's with his friend Lucie Anyon in 2018, said Maus did not know the area very well and the need to find her was urgent.

He said: "Maus doesn't know the area well because she hasn't been with us long, but we think she will still be in the Over Wyre area.

"We went driving round this morning looking for her after we were informed of some potential sightings, but couldn't find her.

A desperate search has begun for missing barn owl Maus, who escaped from Hugo's Small Animal Rescue and Sanctuary's Grange Road, Hambleton branch yesterday. Photo: Bailey Lister

"I don't know how she got out, because her aviary is in a stable, which is closed by big double doors. She's like Houdini.

"We need to find her as soon as possible because she can't hunt for herself, and she also runs the risk of invading other barn owls' territory - they can be pretty nasty when they want to be."

Maus is wearing two black anklets, and any sightings of her can be reported to Bailey on 07864711974.