Owls are one of the mysterious and regal species of birds in the world, with their signature hooting, impressive wingspan, night vision, silent flying skills and incredible hunting abilities.
Owls are master hunters on par with eagles and hawks, and they also possess a spiritual aura of sorts that is unlike any other bird.
Recently, a type of owl species was spotted for the first time in an impossibly long time by British scientists working in Ghana, where it was photographed in the wild.
The type of owl in question had not been seen for 150 years, believe it or not, and its presence was hailed as a “sensational discovery” by ecologists who saw it on October 16.
Monstrously Large Owl Species Found in “Sensational Discovery”
A few days ago, @ja_tobias and I found and photographed Shelley’s Eagle-Owl on the Atewa ridge in Ghana. First modern documented record for Ghana and first field photo of the species. pic.twitter.com/9CpY9ZqiNB
— Rob Williams (@robsrw) October 21, 2021
This particular eagle is known as Shelley’s Eagle Owl, which was native to Central and Western Africa in the 1870s.
The giant owl is officially classified at risk of extinction, as only a few thousand are believed to exist in the wild according to a report from LADBible.com.
The sighting was made by Dr. Joseph Tobias from Imperial College London’s Department and Dr. Robert Williams, an ecologist from Somerset.
The pair were working in the Atewa Forest in Ghana when they saw the majestic bird.
“When we lifted our binoculars our jaws dropped,” said Dr. Tobias. “There is no other owl in Africa’s rainforests that big.”
They saw the bird for 10-15 seconds but managed to take photographs identifying it in that short time period.
After 150 years in hiding, the gorgeous bird from the jungles of Ghana finally made its first appearance!
“This is a sensational discovery. We’ve been searching for this mysterious bird for years in the western lowlands, so to find it here in ridgetop forests of Eastern Region is a huge surprise,” said Dr. Nathaniel Annorbah of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development in Ghana.
The sighting has raised hopes that conservation efforts may be boosted in the region, which is under threat of logging, hunting and bauxite mining.
“Hopefully, the discovery of such a rare and magnificent owl will boost these efforts to save one of the last wild forests in Ghana,” said Dr. Robert Williams.
The Shelley’s Eagle-Owl grows to an average height of between 53-61 centimeters and a weight of 1.2 kilograms.
Their wings can span up to 50 centimeters, or up to 20 inches.
Check out this magnificent bird in the video below, and share this video with anyone who may want to know about it!