Meet Linton Zoo's newest and fluffiest little addition: a Turkmenian Eagle Owlet named Hüwi, which is Turkmen for “Eagle owl.” When keepers noticed that Hüwi's owl mom, named Rohan, wasn't quite as attentive as she should be, they stepped in to hand-rear the chick. In addition to the human care, the Linton Zoo's gentle resident tabby, Arnie, has also stepped in to befriend the chick, who appears cautiously curious (more on Arnie at the bottom). Weighing just 50 grams (<2 ounces) at birth, three weeks later the chick weighs a healthy, and hefty, full kilo (2.2lbs).
The Turkmenian Eagle Owl is one of the largest owls in the world, eventually reaching around 4.5kg (10lbs) and is closely related to the slightly larger European Eagle Owl. Sadly, this spectacular bird may now be extinct in its native range in Central Asia. Very few pure bred birds remain in captivity so Hüwi is an invaluable addition to the survival of this species.
Both of Hüwi's parents were also hatched at Linton Zoo. Dad, Pip, will be 23 years old this year and Rohan is now 5. Two of last years owlets, Igor and Misha, remain at Linton Zoo and a third brother has gone to live at Woburn Wild Animal Park.
More about Arnie the cat
Arnie is one of our zoo cats, he is better known for his friendships with lion cubs which we have had to hand rear over the years. He just can't resist a cub or kitten and loves having a cuddle. We have also noticed that he does like having his picture taken! Whilst we had Hüwi the Eagle owlet out on the garden lawn for some photos, Arnie came over to meet the new arrival and see what we were up to. He muscles in any photo shoot he can and could not keep his face out of the camera frame this time! Thirteen year old red tabby tom "Arnie" is very gentle and is used to seeing a whole range of animals over the years (Google Arnie and Zara for an example). Hüwi too is growing up with a range of different animals around him and is not at all bothered by having Arnie around. The two are only together under supervision.