STAFF from an animal sanctuary in Ringwood have renewed their appeal to find their missing golden eagle Gerry.

The much-loved bird of prey has not returned to Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre since Wednesday July 28 after being mobbed by crows during a flight display and blown off course by strong winds.

Having bitten off his tracker on Wednesday, staff at the rescue centre have worked tirelessly to try and find the elusive eagle.

Managing trustee of the centre, Lynda Bridges said: “Some people think these birds are a commodity to us, but they are actually part of a huge family.

“So many hours goes in to feeding them, tending to them and training them that you do grow a connection with them.

“John Picton is his trainer and, right now, he is absolutely devastated. He has been up at 4am for the past few days and doesn’t stop looking until it is dark outside.”

Although Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre have purchased a thermal imaging camera to help in their search for Gerry, they are appealing to residents to help find the five-year-old bird of prey.

Bournemouth Echo: Gerry the golden eagle, who belongs to Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre, has been missing since Wednesday July 28. Picture from Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre

Staff remain certain that Gerry has stayed local to the rescue centre, and are urging on people in the Burley and Lymington area to remain on the lookout.

Lynda added: “We are doing our best to track him down but without the public’s help, we wouldn’t stand a chance.”

“We want people to get in contact if they think they have seen Gerry and we really appreciate the time and effort some people are putting in to find him.

“We don’t care if we get notified of a million buzzard sightings because one of them will be Gerry.”

Lynda says she has been contacted about hundreds of potential sights, but to no avail.

“With the help and support for the community, which has been amazing, we stand every chance of getting him back,” she added.

“He is at least three times the size of a buzzard and has a five- to six- foot wingspan and stands at around two and a half to three foot high.

“If anyone does see Gerry, take a photo of him and send it to the mobile number attached to our Facebook page. It can be sent over WhatsApp or text.

“With a photo, it gives us a better chance of a positive identification and a specific location.”