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Bird named after Usain Bolt on patrol at Hampshire ferry port
HE soars through the air with a 3ft wing span, frightens the life out of disease-carrying pests and is named after the fastest man on the planet.
This Harris Hawk, named Bolt after legendary Jamaican sprinter Usain, has been ruffling feathers across Hampshire with his ability to scare off unwanted animals.
The menacing bird of prey, native to the USA, has already been flown in to a number of farms around the New Forest to act as a rabbit repellent.
And now he has got his talons in to a new job at a Hampshire ferry terminal – causing a flap among the local pigeons and seagulls.
Three-year-old Bolt, one of 140 birds kept at Liberty’s Owl Raptor and Reptile Centre in Ringwood, has already made a difference at Portsmouth International Port, where droppings are a health and safety issue.
He only needs to patrol an area for an hour every two or three weeks before unwanted visitors get the message and take flight.
Harris Hawks have a top speed of around 45mph and Bolt’s owner Jayson Bridges revealed pests do not usually hang around to put that to the test.
“It is a natural and humane way of clearing an area of pests,” the 23-year-old said.
“Pigeons and rabbits will soon think that the predator lives there permanently.”
Bolt was rescued after his owner decided he could no longer look after him. The raptor has a life expectancy of between 25 and 30 years.