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Arthur the vulture safe and well at home with The Fleet Air Arm

8 June 2016
A bird of prey that was carried away by a gust of wind at the Bath and West Show last Wednesday has been reunited with his owner having landed on at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton.

The station is used to Wildcat and Lynx but this is the first time a white headed vulture, called Arthur has attempted to join the Fleet Air Arm.

Following numerous sightings of Arthur,  the ‘red listed’ endangered vulture decided that he felt quite at home flying with the Royal Navy, staying long enough to allow our expert Bird Control Unit (BCU)to  bring him to safety.

Reunited this morning with his owner Ben Potter, Head Falconer from the Birds of Prey Display Team based in Scotch Corner in North Yorkshire it was a moment Ben had prayed for over the last 6 days. 

I am elated to have him back.

Ben Potter

Ben said; “I am elated to have him back.

“I have had Arthur for 12 tears and he is a really important part of the team.

“He is a white headed vulture and red list endangered which is just about scarce as you can get.

“Our display team allows us to raise funds and maintain a breeding programme the keep endangered birds of prey like Arthur with us for future generations.”

When Arthur was first spotted RNAS Yeoviltons BCU were alerted by Air Traffic Control.

With much patience skill and expertise local resident and Falconer Jim Pitcher worked with Nat Cole from the BCU to bring Arthur in off the air station and to the sanctuary of the BCU where he was fed, checked and settled awaiting the arrival of Ben from Yorkshire.

Nat Cole said; “Arthur is a little bigger than I’m used to and was very hungry but clearly nervous when I approached him.

“Fortunately falconry skills are the same despite the size difference. We are very happy to see him safely returned.”

Ben added; “After hundreds of spotting’s of Arthur over the last week and having to return to Yorkshire where I have 70 other birds that require looking after, it’s been great to finally have Arthur back safe and well.

“I can’t thank the Bird Unit, Jim and Yeovilton enough, thank you!”

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