Wimbledon hawk Rufus returned to owner

Imogen Davis: ''We have been really touched and overwhelmed by all the support"

Related Stories

The hawk used to scare pigeons from Wimbledon has been found, three days after it was stolen from a car in south-west London.

The news that Rufus the pigeon-scaring hawk had been found was posted from his Twitter account by his owner.

It said: "Rufus is healthy and well... We are SO excited/happy/relieved."

He went missing from Dunstall Road, Wimbledon, on Thursday night. A member of the public claimed to have spotted his abandoned box on Friday morning.

Martin Underwood, the manufacturer of the stolen travel box, took the phone call.

Feathered friends

Rufus the hawk, on Centre Court with handler Imogen Davis

Harris hawks are unique amongst raptors for hunting in family groups. But man has made some other fascinating feathered friends:

  • Bird fishing - See the relationship between fishermen and cormorants in China.
  • Falcons save Dubai - With many glass-covered buildings, watch an ancient Arabian solution for the modern urban pigeon problem.
  • Mongolian fox hunt - Get an eagle eye view as a Kazakh hunter and golden eagle team up to hunt a fox.

He said a young man told him: "I think I've found something that belongs to you."

At the time, Mr Underwood was unaware the hawk was missing but he recommended the man hand the box in to the police or the RSPCA.

A Met Police spokeswoman said Rufus was handed in to the RSPCA Animal Hospital in Putney. She said he had a slightly sore leg and would have a few days rest before he started working again.

Rufus's owner Imogen Davis, 25, said: "We have Rufus back, safe and well. We are ecstatic and so, so overwhelmed with all the lovely messages and help we have received."

The four-year-old harris hawk is used to scare pigeons away from roosting on the roof of Centre Court in the mornings before spectators arrive.

This year for the first time, he was kept overnight in a parked car instead of being driven from Corby in Northamptonshire each day for his 05:30 BST start.

There were fears for Rufus's welfare as Ms Davis had said he would be getting hungry.

Asked how often he needed to be fed, Ms Davis said: "When we fly him he is fed a few times daily. He mainly eats quail or chicken but he would eat any meat."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London



11 °C 7 °C


Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.