Wendy Morrell was at home with her friend, Karen Ruddlesden, and two pet dogs, watching the French Open final, when she was met by a very unexpected visitor. Ms. Morrell, who lives in Broadstone, England, had opened her doors because it was a particularly warm day. All of a sudden, Ms. Morrell told the Bournemouth Echo, “This enormous black thing flew in and the dogs went absolutely berserk.”
That “enormous black thing” happened to be an 18-inch-tall Russian Steppe eagle. “We couldn’t believe it,” Ms. Morrell, a retired math teacher, told the Daily Mail. "Initially there was total panic - our two dogs were in the front room and they both jumped to their feet and started barking. We took them into a bedroom and shut the door then went back into the lounge to get a proper look.”
At first the two women tried coaxing the eagle out of the home by placing pieces of ham outside. When that didn’t work, they called the Wessex Bird of Prey Rescue. Jon Hall, who runs the rescue with his wife, Terri, came over and after 30 minutes, finally was able to get the eagle off of the cabinet it had landed on.
It turned out that the eagle, which has a wingspan of four feet, had an owner who was looking for him. James Moore, the owner and a falconer, says that the impressive creature’s name is Storm, and that he had been gone for three days. “He broke his tethers and flew off,” Mr. Moore told the Daily Mail. “I knew it was only a matter of time until he turned up somewhere but the question was where that would be. I'm very pleased to have him back safe and well. He is weathering out and relaxing at home now. I have spoken to Wendy and apologized for ruining her tennis match.”