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Owl used to guard drug money could find new home in West Wycombe
AN owl who was used to guard drugs money could have a new home in West Wycombe if a owl rescue centre gets planning permission.
The Harlington Owl and Pet Rescue centre, which is based in Heathrow, has outgrown its current space.
Falconer Terry Travis who cares for the owls said they have been offered an area by the West Wycombe Garden Centre, where they could build 50 aviaries.
But firstly they need to get planning permission. The centre has been rescuing owls for eight years. The birds are all captive bred.
Terry said Daisy, who is a European Eagle Owl was one of two birds which was used to defend drug dealers cash.
They were locked in boxes- Daisy above £22,000 in cash and one above £29,000 worth of cocaine.
He said eagle owls are vicious birds, which is why they are used. Daisy was handed to Terry by police.
But Terry, 49, gains the birds' trust, and they don't use food to do this.
He said: "We train purely to trust. It takes longer but you get better results. "I can release any of my birds to go flying and guarantee they will come back.
"If they catch anything they will bring it back for me and they see it as providing for their family."
When they get the birds they put them in aviaries and leave them for a week. They then put a chair in the aviary for two to three days before going in and sitting and reading a book for five to six days, but it can be up to a month.
He said he sits in there for 12 hours a day.
He said: "Yes I get attacked and hurt. I don't care about that. "Once I have built up the trust I am working with them every day."
Terry said it is too easy to buy an owl, such as a barn owl, for about £70 without knowing how to look after it.
He said: "When we are raising funds at market country shows and craft shows people say I want to get one of them.
"We say what are you going to do with them? They said put it in a cage.
"That is the wrong thing. They are birds of prey. They need to fly. We fly each of the birds at least three times a week. That is what they fly in the wild."
They have just put the planning application in and hope it will get the go-ahead.