THE only Pel’s Fishing Owl in the UK on public display in the UK has arrived in Llandudno.

The 12 week old bird was bred in Italy and is now at the owl sanctuary at Bodafon Farm Park. The breed is from Africa, but it is not known how many of the species exist.

Pel’s fishing owls feed at night on fish and frogs snatched from the surface of lakes and rivers.

The birds like to nest in hollows trees with branches overhanging slow moving rivers.

The birds grow to be the second largest types of owl and when mature have a wingspan of five and a half feet. The breed is one of five types of owl which feed on fish.

Pam Broughton, a Trustee of the Owls Trust charity, said: “The very first person to ever breed this owl in captivity is Enrico Albertini at the Centro Monticello Conservation Centre in Italy.

He has very kindly given one of the offspring to The Owls Trust to use in our education programme.

“We have no idea of how this species is coping in its natural habitat but by having a genetically healthy population in captivity could make all the difference if we ever need to replace declining populations.

"Owls are at the top of the food chain as apex predators all over the world. The loss of just one species would have a dramatic effect on its environment and a detrimental effect on all around it. The balance of nature is a very fragile thing. Our Pel’s Fishing Owl is coming here to North Wales to help us to demonstrate just that.

“We are holding a competition on social media to come up with a name for the bird, which is male.

"The prize for the winner will be a free tour of the sanctuary and the opportunity to hold the bird.”

The Trust which is home to about 60 different owls also has one of the largest types in the world, the giant eagle owl.