First eagle owl chick for Torremolinos botanical garden

The fluffy predator is just three weeks old.

TORREMOLINOS council has announced the birth of the first captive eagle owl chick at the town’s Molino de Inca botanical garden since its inception in 2003.

The cute raptor hatched on April 24, was ringed on May 6, and remains under the charge of the forest guard, who are responsible for feeding it every six to eight hours.

In another week the chick will be one month old and will soon become purely carnivorous, feeding chiefly on rodents, hares or rabbits, plus lizards, amphibians, snakes and even fish.

It is still too early to say whether it is male or female, although carers suspect the former, and no name has been chosen yet, with local residents invited to choose via a social media campaign.

Once it begins to take on adult plumage it will become a reddish-brown colour and will weigh 2-4 kilos as an adult.

The bird’s mother is nine-years-old and has been in the garden’s aviary since 2009, whereas the two-year-old father arrived in 2015.

The Eurasian eagle owl is among the largest on the planet, reaching a length of 75 cm, with a wingspan of 188 cm, and is quite common in Malaga province, though very elusive.

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