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Lock up your pets: Giant Sea Eagle 'Nikita' escapes during training

By Claire Cromie

Police have warned the public to keep small pets indoors because a huge sea eagle is on the loose.

Nikita, a large Steller's sea eagle with a wingspan of 8ft, took flight on Saturday morning during training at Greengates Farmhouse near Settle, North Yorks.

She did not return and police have asked locals to look out for the formidable bird of prey - but warned them not to pick it up.

Steller’s sea eagles are native to eastern Russia and feed mostly on salmon, which they catch by swooping from perches located by the water's edge.

Trainer Chris O’Donnell, of Hawk Experience Ltd, trains eagles in the Yorkshire Dales.

He told the Mirror: “Nikita was having an exercise at 10am on Saturday and it was incredibly windy. She went a bit further than normal and possibly became disorientated because of the lay of the land."

He added: “I expected her to come back but she must have flown a little further than normal.”

Police sergeant Ed Rogerson tweeted: "Nikita has an 8ft wingspan & makes a noise a bit like a goose. Not dangerous to people but don't try picking it up."


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