A GIANT owl that was missing for over year has been found been found at last – thanks to a pair of dogs on their morning walk.

Bella, a two-year-old European eagle owl, flew from falconer Allan Gates last year after she got spooked by the sound of a hosepipe he was using to clean a bathtub near her aviary: “She landed on my fist squawking, took off and that was the last I saw of her.”

Allan, who runs Mere Down Falconry, had given up on ever seeing the massive 5lb owl again.

But this morning he took a call from a couple who had spotted the bird while out walking their dogs. The animals had scared the bird as she stood in long grass and the dogs’ owners, recognising Bella as Allan’s owl, had called the Mere falconer.

He sped to Hill Deverill in his van and, despite not having seen her for 13 months, was able to approach Bella as she sat on a post: “She hissed a bit, but she sat on my glove and let me walk her back to the van.”

The bird - which has a 5ft wingspan - had a wound to her wing and her feathers were waterlogged. But she otherwise appeared to be healthy: “She’s obviously adapted and managed to kill for herself.”

Allan, 65, said Bella was enjoying a well-deserved snooze in her aviary.