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home bird Owner of the Golden Eagle who went missing expresses joy at being reunited with his pet

The professional people kept saying to me, ‘walk the same path every day, morning and night, he’ll come back. He knows where’s he's being fed, he's a clever bird’."

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John Nugent and his golden eagle Kalin who returned after being missing for eight days.  Picture by Owen Breslin

John Nugent and his golden eagle Kalin who returned after being missing for eight days. Picture by Owen Breslin

John Nugent and his golden eagle Kalin who returned after being missing for eight days. Picture by Owen Breslin

The relieved owner of the Golden Eagle who went missing in Wicklow for eight days, prompting a massive social media search, has expressed his joy at being reunited with his pet.

John Nugent had appealed to the public to look out for his 12-year-old bird of prey, named Kalin, as he begged farmers, who may have seen him as a potential threat, not to shoot him.

"Please, please do not shoot the bird. Just give him a chance. He's not a threat. He's never killed, he's not a danger to anybody,” John said RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland during the week.

“This bird has never hunted, he's 12 years old, he has never been out in the wild at all.”

Now, eight days after Kalin fled, there was a happy ending as John finally spotted him up on a tree he had passed by that very morning.

“The professional people kept saying to me, ‘walk the same path every day, morning and night, he’ll come back. He knows where’s he's being fed, he's a clever bird’.

“And yesterday afternoon, on the eighth day, there's the bird sitting on the tree where I walked the path the same morning. I can’t say there was a grown man crying but I was so excited it was unreal. He was slightly caught on the tree but when I whistled up to him he whistled back.

“And the minute I got up and got him down out of the tree, I put him on the hand and he wouldn't release.

“He just held on to my hand all the way back. Everybody said he hadn’t eaten for eight days. I was glad to get him and brought him back to his aviary.

John expressed his gratitude for the media and “everyone that helped me find him”.

“The amount of support I got,” he said. “I got sightings from Aughrim, Avoca, Arklow, Brittas Bay...thanks to everybody for helping because I would've (been) lost. But you kept me focused and kept me going. All the support and the amount of people who took time out of the day and walked fields and (checked) trees.. I was blown away.

“Kalin belongs to the people now because they help me find it him,” he added.

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Kalin who returned after being missing for eight days. Picture by Owen Breslin

Kalin who returned after being missing for eight days. Picture by Owen Breslin

Kalin who returned after being missing for eight days. Picture by Owen Breslin

Meanwhile, Kalin has been settling back in after his adventure although John believes he's still a bit rattled by his ordeal.

“I put him in his aviary last night and he jumped straight to the front door to see where I was going,” he revealed. “I went back in and sat on the ground with him for a couple of minutes while he sat on his perch. He didn’t want to see me going. It was like ‘where are you going, you left me already’.

“I want to train him to fly, he's already had the first flight, and it’s like worrying about a teenager going out drinking. But he’s home now and he’s safe.”

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