Golden eagle has landed - Norman is safe back home with his trainer

Allen Smith with Norman the eagle
Allen Smith with Norman the eagle

Celebrity escapee Norman the golden eagle has been recaptured by his trainer after two weeks of freedom.

The giant bird was spotted 
sitting on a garden fence in Barton-le-Clay on Monday and lured back to captivity by falconer Allen Smith.

Allen Smith with Norman The Golden Eagle.

Allen Smith with Norman The Golden Eagle.

Allen, 65, said: “I am very pleased he is home.

“He’s in great condition, he has a few more muscles and he’s lost some weight.

“He will probably be ready to fly again next month, and get back to catching ground game such as rabbits.”

Norman, who has a 6ft wingspan, took off during a training flight in Flitwick on Friday, January 9.

Worried Allen has been chasing Norman around the county as people spotted the raptor in various locations 
between Flitwick and Maulden, but was unable to coax him back.

When he got the call to an industrial estate in Barton-le-Clay he rushed to the scene and enticed 10lb Norman down with a dead rabbit.

As the eagle grabbed the meat he managed to get hold of his straps and bundle him into his car.

Allen said: “He was on this garden fence near the entrance to the industrial estate.

“The gentleman who found him rang the police and stayed with him until I arrived.”

Allen added: “I don’t know what Norman has eaten but you could tell he was hungry.

“He hasn’t attacked any pets or anything like that but he has led us on a bit of a chase around Bedfordshire.

Throughout the hunt for Norman, who was born in captivity in Germany, Allen remained certain he would get him back.

He said: “An untrained golden eagle went missing from London Zoo before and they got him back so I always confident.”

Now, Allen is considering how best to deal with Norman’s newfound celebrity.

He said: “Previously, I had a falcon which I took to country shows for charity.

“Perhaps Norman would be a good draw for charity events this summer.”