Heartbreak at baby owl death

Baby barn owl Benji Boo was found dead three weeks after escaping from her aviary.
Baby barn owl Benji Boo was found dead three weeks after escaping from her aviary.
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A “heartbroken” woman has spoken of her grief after her pet owl was found dead on a golf course.

Three weeks after she appealed in The Gazette for help finding the six-month-old baby barn owl, which escaped after the roof blew off its aviary, Karen Mankowska has been reunited with the cherished bird in tragic circumstances.

Benji Boo

Benji Boo

Benji Boo was found at Poulton Golf Club, on Breck Road, on Wednesday.

The grandmother, of Deansway, Blackpool, said: “I am totally heartbroken but its wonderful that she’s been guided home (although) not alive as I so much wanted her to be.

“But I know she’s fed herself and not fallen to any bird of prey, she looks as beautiful as the day I last saw her.”

Benji Boo escaped from her aviary after strong winds blew part of it off in the early hours of February 1.

Despite several reported sightings, the bird was not found until she was discovered dead this week.

Mrs Mankowska, 52, who hand-reared Benji Boo since she was a fledgling, added: “We’ve walked miles, ran out to sightings at all hours and tried to contact everyone who gave their time to help be it just a text message.”

She thanked everyone who helped in the family’s quest to bring Benji Boo home safely, adding that her death left a “huge void” but she was “privileged” to have the owl home.

She added: “A massive thank you to friends and strangers for helping.”

Benji Boo was due to be buried in the family’s garden, next to the aviary where she lived, last night.

Dozens of Facebook users have posted messages of sympathy online.