Nikita the Steller's sea eagle on the loose in Yorkshire Dales

Sea eagle, which has an 8ft wingspan, disappeared on Saturday

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The Independent Online

A giant sea eagle with an 8ft wing-span is loose in the Yorkshire Dales after escaping from its trainer.

Chris O’Donnell lost Nikita, a Steller’s sea eagle, after training in windy conditions near Brackenbottom, North Yorks, and believes the 10-year-old eagle may have been blown off course.

Police today stated the bird was not dangerous to the public, but yesterday tweeted a warning to pet owners to keep small animals indoors.

Nikita's trainer said yesterday: “She’s massive – like a small glider,” but reassured people the eagle was harmless.

Mr O’Donnell  believes the bird will be found a few miles away, adding: “It’ll be sitting in a field wishing it was back home.”

Steller's sea eagles are native to eastern Russia, and migrate to Japan each winter where they are now revered.

However, the eagles are also renowned for their powerful and aggressive nature, surviving on a diet of small animals, fish and carrion.

In captivity the eagles are fed on a diet of frozen pigeons, squirrels and rabbits.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr O’Donnell added: “If this turns up on your bird table you’re going to call the police.”

North Yorkshire Police have asked anyone who spots the bird to call 101.