AN eagle owl found badly injured next to a railway track is recovering at the RSPCA's West Hatch Wildlife Centre.

The bird - one of the largest species of owls - was spotted by workers bleeding and unable to fly near Mountain Ash on Tuesday (January 11).

Because of the bird's height, she had to be transported in a dog crate by RSPCA animal rescue officer Sian Burton.

She said: “When I got the call to go and pick up an injured owl, I was expecting to see a tawny owl or a barn owl.

"So I was a little bit gobsmacked when I saw the size of the bird that awaited me.

"She was absolutely enormous and measured over two feet.

“I covered her in a towel to keep her calm and made her feet secure as their talons are huge, and once that was done I popped her into a dog crate to be checked over by a local vet.”

Thankfully the eagle owl was found to have only non-life threatening injuries, although she will need a partial amputation of one toe, treatment for a damaged talon and her beak stabilised with acrylic.

The work is being carried out at the RSPCA’s West Hatch centre, where she was transported on Wednesday (January 12).

Although she was wearing jesses, there was no leg ring or microchip, so the RSPCA has so far been unable to trace her owner, although enquiries are continuing.

The charity says the incident highlights how important it is to ensure animals are properly identified and registered correctly.

Sian added: “I’m really grateful to the compassionate and caring men who found her and called us.

"They’d wrapped her in a high-vis jacket and were very concerned for her welfare.

"I was really happy to be able to give them a positive update about her condition later that day.”

If you think the owl belongs to you, or you are a member of the public with information which could help the RSPCA trace the owner, contact the charity's inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

Anyone claiming ownership will be required to provide proof.

Should an owner not come forward, the owl will be found a suitable home with an experienced keeper.