HEARTBROKEN youngster Alfie McKinney – who was left “traumatised” after his pet owl escaped from its aviary – has been reunited with his feathery friend.
The six-year-old was delighted when his pet barn owl Barney – who had escaped his enclosure at the family home in Chequers Close, Pontefract, last week – was caught in a neighbour’s garden on Saturday, following a search launched by his mum Kelly.
Mrs McKinney, 27, said: “Alfie was absolutely devastated when Barney escaped, he went to stay at his grandma’s because I didn’t want him to be even more upset seeing the empty aviary.
“The pair of them are very close and as Alfie has slight autism and ADHD, he can’t cope very well with change and it traumatised him when he knew Barney had gone.
“ I was out every night looking for him because it was the only time he would actually come out.
“We have had him since he was three weeks old and is so tame that we were really worried he would not fly away from dogs and cats.
“I thought we’d never see him again when he hadn’t returned in the first couple of days, but when we were told our neighbour had found him and my friend Amy Francis brought him to me wrapped in a dressing gown, I just burst into tears. Alfie was shouting ‘He’s back mum, he’s back!’.”
“I would like to thank Amy and everyone who helped with the search.”
Mrs McKinney has now installed surveillance cameras and floodlights in the family’s back garden to prevent another escape.