Passers-by in Priestgate are getting more than they bargained for by a man attempting to entice his owl off the roof of a building by swinging a dead rat on a piece of string in front of her.
Mark Smith is using the rat he kept in his freezer to try and encourage his pet Bengal Benny down from on top of St James House (next to the former XXI Bar And Lounge) where it is perched.
Mark had lost Benny on Bonfire Night but was given information through a missing pets site on Facebook and the Independent Bird Register that she was in the city centre having left his home in Burghley Road.
But having braved the cold for four hours yesterday (Monday, December 14) to attempt to get Benny down and into a cage he had ready, he has been forced to come back again today in the hope that the hungry bird might finally be ready to come down and be re-united with her owner.
Mark (32) said: “She was on my house roof until fireworks started going off and I lost site of her in the dark.
“By the time daylight came the next day she was nowhere to be seen.”
Mark has had Benny for around 10 years after taking her from a rescue centre, and he is preparing to keep coming back to Priestgate around his day job as a support worker until Benny will finally come home with him.
He added: “I could be here for hours. She’s started talking which is a good sign.”
Some onlookers appeared a bit puzzled to see a dead rat lying on the ground, but most were giving Mark plenty of encouragement as he continued his game of patience which is now into its sixth hour.