The sad passing of Bruno our European Eagle Owl
Today was a very sad day in Paradise. We lost our dear friend Bruno, the European Eagle Owl. Many reading this will remember Bruno from our Eagles of Paradise Flying Show where she played a starring role for over twenty-five years.
Bruno arrived at the Park in March 1993 from the RSPCA. She had been found abandoned and was literally “walking the streets of London”. She spent several months in an RSPCA rescue centre whilst they searched for a forever home for her, and it was there that she was given the name Big Bruno, due largely to her size and with a nod to the boxer Frank Bruno, who was very much in vogue at that time.
When she first arrived here at the Park it was obvious that firstly he was a she, and secondly that she was not a young bird. As we had two unpaired male European Eagle Owls here at that time we decided that we should pair Bruno up with one of them. So we tried, and she beat up not only the first male but then the second within a couple of hours of meeting them – we concluded that was not going to work! The males had sensibly given in quickly so only suffered slight feather damage and a substantial blow to their egos.
Option two was to train her up to join our, then fledgling, Eagles of Paradise Show team. This she took to like a duck to water, she absolutely adored all the attention that we gave her and she was a true delight to work with, a real big softy. She remained in the show team for over twenty-five years until we retired her two years ago.
Bruno’s health had been deteriorating over the last twelve days and despite antibiotics and painkillers and the best avian veterinary care in the country, she failed to respond. So today we had the make the most difficult of all decisions, as any of you who own pets probably know all too well, the decision to put her to sleep. She meant far too much to us to see her suffer and she passed away peacefully and with dignity. She will be buried in a shady part of our show field.
It is at times like this that we have to remind ourselves that every living creature has a lifetime with a beginning, a middle and an end. Some lifetimes are long, others are short. We know very little about the beginning of Bruno’s life, but we do know that during the time she spent with us she had the very best care that we could give her and she touched the hearts of everyone that came across her, today her life came to its end and we shall all miss her tremendously.”