Alert over escaped golden eagle

Gazette Series: A golden eagle has escaped from an aviary in a South Wales village A golden eagle has escaped from an aviary in a South Wales village

A golden eagle is on the loose in South Wales, police have confirmed.

The bird of prey escaped from an aviary in the village of Pontycymer and officers have asked the public to be "vigilant" - warning that the strong animal should not be approached.

The female golden eagle flew off from a farm during the evening of Monday November 5 with its line still attached. Police said it has a wingspan measuring 6ft 5in and weighs 16lbs.

Wildlife and environmental crime officer Pc Mark Goulding urged the public to keep their eyes peeled.

He said: "The golden eagle is a captive breed and familiar with humans. However, it is a very large and powerful bird and so should not be approached.

"When the eagle escaped it had only just been fed, so it is likely it will only show itself when it becomes exhausted and hungry, which could take up to 10 days.

"I would ask people to remain vigilant and call us if they see the animal. Although the eagle does not offer a threat to public safety, please do not try to capture it if you see it.

"Only professional and experienced bird handlers should approach the eagle."

Golden eagles are usually associated with North America, but they are also present in Eurasia and parts of Africa. According to the RSPB, the species also lives in the open moorlands and mountains of Scotland, favouring islands and remote glens.

Anyone who spots the golden eagle should call South Wales Police via the 101 telephone number.

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