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Living with owl chick Benedict is a hoot, safari park keeper says

Dave Warren has been looking after the bird while his nieces from Canada came to visit.

European eagle owl chick Benedict has been making himself at home at a keeper’s house as part of the hand-rearing process.

The fledgling, which is six-and-a half-weeks old, has been staying at Blair Drummond Safari Park keeper Dave Warren’s home.

Keepers at the park decided to call the owl Benedict after Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch because of its inquisitive nature.

Imprinting, or hand rearing, an owl is a process used to totally desensitise the bird to everyday disturbances that may otherwise scare it.

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Sasha Boulton described Benedict as 'comical' (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Mr Warren has been looking after the owl while his nieces Keetah, 12, and Sasha Boulton, 14, from Canada came to visit.

Sasha said: “We knew Dave worked at the safari park but we didn’t realise he would be bringing it home with him.

“It was awesome to see Benedict, he was unexpectedly fluffy and very comical – we can’t wait to see him fly when he is a bit older.”

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Dave Warren has been helping to hand-rear Benedict (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Mr Warren has had his hands full as Benedict prepares to fly for the first time.

He said: “It’s been a hoot having Benedict in the house at the same time as the girls, he’s growing so fast, it’s hard to believe he’s only six-and-a-half weeks old.

“I’m in no doubt he’ll be a firm favourite when he makes his debut this weekend at the safari park’s bird of prey flying demonstrations”.

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