A BIRD of prey that was causing havoc in the town of Tobarra, Albacete has finally been caught.
The Harris hawk had escaped from its owner, a local falconry enthusiast from Murcia.
It decided to settle in Albacete, some 150 km away, and was causing panic for the town’s 8,000 residents.
It was seen swooping down on children in the streets, striking fear into locals that someone could be seriously injured.
Environmental rangers were called in to help a team from Seprona, the nature protection arm of Guardia Civil.
Together, they hatched a plan to catch the rogue bird with a trap involving decoy birds, culminating in its capture in the net of a five-metre-long pole.
The capture was not made easy for them due to the birds’ use of the town’s electricity poles as a vantage point.
The raptor was captured safely and without being harmed before being sent to the Wildlife Recovery Center of Albacete.
The bird, native to America, is known to be very aggressive when stressed.
It is a popular bird among falconists and they are often used to disperse pigeons from London’s Trafalgar Square and the tennis courts at Wimbledon.
Harris hawks range in length from 46 to 59 cm, with a wingspan of up to 120cm.
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