Family’s plea as owl Ollie takes flight

Ollie the owl with Billie-Jane Todd
Ollie the owl with Billie-Jane Todd
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An owl owner is calling on people across the Fylde to look out for her lost pet after it escaped from its aviary.

Linda Milnes, 48, from Johnsville Avenue, South Shore, says her nine-year-old daughter Billie-Jane has been left devastated by barn owl Ollie’s

sudden disappearance.

Ollie escaped from his aviary on Sunday evening after Linda accidentally left it unlocked.

Linda said: “I did see him on the roof and I tried to shout him down, but he wouldn’t.

“I think he thought he’d go off for a hunt.”

Seventeen-month-old Ollie then flew off in a north-easterly direction towards Marton.

He hasn’t been seen since, although Linda says she has received potential sightings of him at Balham Road, Lytham, and in Rossendale.

The loss comes just a month after two of her ponies were also tragically killed when their horsebox went up in flames on the motorway. She added: “We lost our ponies that died on the M55 as well, so we’ve had a horrendous month.

“Billie-Jane loves him to bits and he’s dead loving.

“He thinks I’m his mummy, you could say he’s a character who likes his cuddles and a massage.”

Owl expert Bill Higham, who runs The Barn Owl Bill Charity and Bird Rescue Centre in Leyland, says it is possible Ollie could have flown further afield than the Fylde.

He said: “There are some nice areas around Blackpool for hunting, but if you’ve got any slight winds you’re not talking about a lot for it to be blown that bit of distance.

“If they’re looking for someone or something they’ll get their heads down and just fly.”