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Owl survives after clinging to high speed train at Crick

A young owl which clung to the front of a speeding train for more than 300 miles which ended up at Crick has been named Lucky after surviving the ordeal.

The bird was found just below the driver’s cabin when the Malcolm Group train when it pulled into DIRFT.

It is thought Lucky the owl spent the entire 325 mile journey from Glasgow perched on the front of the Class 66 Loco.

Staff at the train terminal spotted dazed Lucky still clinging onto one of the front pipes even once the train had come to a stop.

He was taken to Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary where owner Geoff Grewcock, 63, said he was lucky to be alive.

Mr Grewcock said: “He’s got slight wing damage and a bit of concussion but he’s a very, very lucky owl.

“When I received a phone call saying there was an owl clinging onto one of the pipes on the front of the train I thought it was going to be really seriously injured.

“Because of the distance it’s come from and from clinging on the front I thought his wings were going to be snapped all the way back.

“He must have good grip.”

Mr Grewcock, who has helped rescue 24,500 animals since opening the wildlife sanctuary in 2001, said it’s likely Lucky was hunting when he found the unusual perch point.

He said: “It is strange to cling on all that way. He must’ve been hunting because owls never fly unless they are hunting.

“Maybe he spotted a mouse and went to look for it or he could’ve flown into the train.

“He wasn’t trapped but because the wind was blowing against him, it kept him perched on there and he just kept hanging on with his talons.

“He’s lucky to be alive after travelling more than 300 miles – that’s why all the staff decided to name him Lucky.’

Mr Grewcock, from Nuneaton, said it’s not the first time he’s rescued an owl from the front of a train.

He added: “A good few years ago we had a kestrel on the back of a freight train from Germany.

“He got slight wind damage as well because they tend to flap about and damage their wings. We had him for about two weeks but he made a full recovery and was released back onto the wild.”

Lucky the owl is also expected to make a full recovery and will be paired up with another tawny when he is released into the wild next week.

Mr Grewcock said: “He’s eating well and the damage to his left wing is thankfully just a bit of bruising – a light sprain.

“He’s become a bit of a local celebrity here – all the staff have had their photo taken with him.

“Everyone is fussing over him – someone even brought him a little teddy toy and all the staff want to clean him out.

“All the staff are going to miss him.

“He deserves all the luck he can get. I hope he pairs up and has young

“It’s a happy ending to the story.”

Mr Grewcock also joked that Lucky was fleeing Scotland because he doesn’t want to it to be independent.

He said: “I don’t think he wanted Scotland to be independent - I think he was getting out before.

“He’s an escapee.”

 

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