Vulture missing after being blown off course while show as public warned not to approach

White-headed vulture

White-headed vulture (file picture)

Arthur, a white-headed vulture, was swept away over the Bath and West Show near Shepton Mallet, Somerset , by strong winds. A vulture who was blown off course during a display at a county show is still missing – as members of the public have been warned not to approach the bird of prey.

The carrion-eating bird is a native to Africa with a wingspan that can reach seven and a half feet.

Owner Ben Potter, of Birds of Prey Displays, insisted Arthur wasn’t dangerous – but said he will “spook away” if approached.

White-headed vultures predominantly eat carrion but are also occasional predators.

White-headed vulture
The bird of prey will “spook away” if approached by people, its owner said (stock photo)

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Ben said: “I got a positive sighting last night but he had moved by my arrival so I know the area he is in.

“I would think I’ll pick him up today – he is not one for staying out long.”

He added: “Arthur is a beautiful vulture and he was caught in strong winds and taken off course this morning.

“He flew off fine but just got caught out on the last flight. Every show is different.

“He’s not dangerous or anything but he’ll fly away from people if they try to approach him and scare him.

“I’ve got a show to do so can’t get off site at the moment but if they can just let me know where he is that’d be great.”

On Facebook an appeal for help Ben said Arthur was “big and not hard to miss”.

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He had to call off his search on Wednesday night as darkness fell but resumed it at first light.

Ben has been looking after birds of prey since he was 14 and volunteered at a small Yorkshire falconry centre.

He set up Birds of Prey Displays, which is based in Richmond, Yorkshire, in 2007 and now travels the UK with about thirty birds.