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Owner of golden eagle Kalin missing for over a week on cloud nine after being reunited with beloved bird

Owner of golden eagle Kalin missing for over a week on cloud nine after being reunited with beloved bird

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THE owner of a golden eagle who had been ­missing for over a week says he is on cloud nine after being reunited with his beloved bird today.

John Nugent had been in a flap and “praying for a miracle” after Kalin escaped from his enclosure after undoing his leash and flying off.

Owner of golden eagle Kalin missing for over a week on cloud nine after being reunited with beloved bird
John Nugent with beloved bird Kalin after being reunited today

He put out a nationwide appeal in a desperate bid to find the golden eagle, warning the 12-year-old bird of prey had never hunted for food or been out in the wild before.

Hopes were raised when sightings were reported in several ­locations but Kalin could not be tracked down for eight days.

But today John’s plucky bird was finally found in a tree about 1km south from where he went missing in Newcastle, Co Wicklow.

Tonight he told the Irish Sun: “I can’t believe I have found him, I found him south of where he went missing, and when he has seen me today he jumped straight onto my arm and would not let go.

“I even had to go through a ditch and he gripped my arm like he never did before, I don’t know who was more delighted, him or I.

“I want to thank everyone who helped look for Kalin, I was really overwhelmed with the amount of help I got from the public and all media not only here in Wicklow but throughout the country, I really can’t thank them enough.”

Kalin, who weighed 8lb 12oz before he went missing, now weighs just under 8lbs. John said the bird would have missed his favorite food — chicken legs from a supermarket.

Kalin didn’t have a tracker on the day he disappeared as the bird was resting before suddenly taking off.

John explained: “I fly him fairly ­regularly, all the time, and he’s never flown free. He has never flown free in 12 years. I was hoping to let him fly free on Paddy’s Day.

“When I say free, I don’t mean release him into the wild, I mean release him and then that he’ll fly free and come back to me in the hand. He was well getting trained.

“But he’s not a fit bird and he’s never been, in his 12 years, out of captivity.”