Baby owl being trained for place in flying display team is given fluffy toys to stop him feeling lonely

 A baby owl who had to be taken from his family has been given a new one made up of stuffed toy birds.

Five-week-old Tomsk was saved by trainers at the Scottish Owl Centre in West Lothian after his sibling was accidentally killed by their parents.

The Ural owl is now being hand-reared and the fluffy fella enjoys watching television with his new owl friends – and his carer’s cats.

Trainer Rod Angus, 53, describes the latest recruit to the aerial squad as ‘a bit thick’ and looking ‘like a tea cosy’.

 Rod, who runs the centre with wife Niccy, said: ‘Tomsk is five weeks old, really laid back and quite friendly.

‘We named him after Tomsk from the TV show The Wombles, and also after the town in Siberia, which is one of the Ural owls natural habitats.’

The centre is home to around 100 owls, including Snowys and Great Greys.

Most of the birds are breeding pairs on show to the public, but about 20 of them are part of the trained 'Flying Display Team' - the largest collection of trained owls in the world.

The owlet was born at the centre where his parents are a breeding pair. His siblings did not fare so well - one did not hatch and the other was killed by one of his parents.

Because he still needs regular attention, Tomsk spends the evenings with the centre's keepers, who take him home.

Although he is currently less than one foot tall, he will eventually have a wingspan of around five feet

Rod added: ‘When he goes to our other keeper's house they sit on the couch and watch TV.

‘He will also spend time at the senior keeper's home, who has cats, but its no problem because they are house-trained, so they don't hunt.

‘They just they sit together, growing up side by side.’

Source : dailymail


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