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Stansted Airport staff rescue barn owl after run-in with Ryanair jet

A barn owl feared dead after tangling with a Ryanair aircraft is recovering well after being rescued by Stansted Airport staff.

An airfield operations ranger was alerted to a possible bird strike on Wednesday (Oct 14) at around 8.45pm. When he inspected the runway, he found what he thought was the lifeless body of the owl.

A source told the Indie the ranger immediately feared the worst: "This is usually the case as they don't tend to fare very well when coming into contact with large aircraft, even if it's only a glancing blow."

Barn owl rescue at Stansted Airport (42723338)
Barn owl rescue at Stansted Airport (42723338)

Barn owls normally weigh between 430g and 620g (15-22oz) and are 32cm-40cm (12.6in-15.75in) long. By contrast, a Ryanair Boeing 737-800 weighs 41.41 tonnes (41,410 kg/6,521st) and are 40m (131ft) long.

"When placing the bird in the ops vehicle, the owl suddenly came to and made sure the ops officer knew it!" said the source.

"With one of its wings not looking good, the owl was unable to fly, so it was caught and placed in a suitable box for safety.

Barn owl rescue at Stansted Airport (42723340)
Barn owl rescue at Stansted Airport (42723340)

"The owl was kept safe overnight and the day ops team contacted the RSPCA, who sent one of their officers out to collect him.

"On seeing the bird, the inspector was pleased with its condition as he was fearing the worst, bearing in mind the event leading up to its recovery.

"He was very confident that it will return to full health and was very appreciative of the steps taken to ensure its safety."

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