North Anston: Falcon missing from Tropical Butterfly House

Guardian News
Guardian News

The Tropical Butterfly House in North Anston are appealing for help to locate a missing bird of prey.

The centre’s Gyrfalcon hybrid, Suka, was last known to be close to Rother Valley Country Park.

Staff have been tracking her location since she flew off during a training session on Monday 27th January around 3pm.

Animal presenter Heather Scott, said: “She stayed fairly close that afternoon but by Tuesday morning had already flown over three miles away.”

“We use telemetry, a radio transmitter system, and this has allowed us to locate her several times until yesterday, but unfortunately the battery may have now run out as we have been unable to pick up the signal today (Friday).”

“For anyone with telemetry equipment; the details are as follows: 173 megahertz, channel 1, fine tune 4.”

The bird keepers estimate that Suka has already flown more than 20 miles in the last few days. The flyaway falcon has been located in Aston, Swallownest, Dinnington, Kiveton, North and South Anston and Dinnington.

Trainers Heather Scott and Ben Coulson have got frustratingly close and even been at the tree she was sat in several times, but offers of food have failed to coax her back so far.

Zoo Curator Andrew Reeve is hopeful that she will be spotted by someone in the local area.

“She is mostly white with grey markings and is roughly the same size as a crow, making her quite conspicuous,” he said.

“When she was last sighted, it appeared she no longer has jesses attached (the leather straps used to hold her when on a glove), but does still have the leather anklets.”

“There is a black transmitter attached to her left ankle. There is no need for people to fear for their own or their pets’ safety as Suka has never been trained to hunt and is now probably quite weak and tired.”

“We thank everyone in advance for helping us to bring her home.”

Staff ask that sightings are reported by calling the centre on 01909 569416. Photos of suspected sightings of Suka may also be posted to the Facebook page which is monitored regularly.