2010年 06月 24日
Devon の Paignton Zoo ってところで、
LEARNING to fly in a lions' den could have been a very paw choice for this baby tawny owl.
But the youngster incredibly managed to survive for THREE days alongside Indu the Asiatic lioness and her mate.
The owlet is thought to have fallen from its nest above the enclosure at Paignton Zoo in Devon ・and landed inches from the killers.
Visitors watched as Indu lazily eyed the tiny intruder who would have made an easy snack.
But the seven-year-old lioness decided to spare the bird and after several clumsy efforts it managed to take off and fly to safety.
These photos of the owl and the very big pussycat were taken by retired teacher Sheila Hassanein, 64.
She said: "Someone saw the chick fall out of a tree and it landed right in the lion enclosure. A big group of people quickly gathered round to watch.
"We were all very concerned about the owl as it looks completely helpless in there. It was so tiny compared to the lions.
"At one point one of the lions went over to it and I felt sure she was going to eat it, but she just didn't seem bothered at all.
"The staff couldn't go in there to remove the chick so it was in there for three days before it was able to fly off.
"It was very lucky to escape because I saw a pigeon land in there once and the lion ate it up straight away."
A zoo spokesman said visitors were keen for the owlet to be rescued but staff could not allow anyone to enter while the cats were in the paddock.
The pair of Asiatic lions are part of a European breeding programme to protect the endangered species, as only 300 live wild in India.