A SHOW owl from Stonehouse is fighting fit once more after baffled vets removed an old sock from its stomach.

John Dowling - owner of 13-week-old Indian eagle owl Lydon - first noticed the bird was in discomfort soon after it wowed the crowds in a display at the Stonehouse Horticultural Show and Summer Jolly in July.

He took it to vets in Swindon who decided to operate after examinations revealed a hard swelling in its abdomen.

Fearing it could be a tumour, John was relieved and surprised in equal measures when avian surgeon Neil Forbes pulled out the old sock Lydon had played with since it was an owlet. "Never in my 28 years of avian medicine have I treated an owl that swallowed a sock," said Mr Forbes.

"It is just unheard of."

John, who owns John Dowling Falconry Ltd, added: "I was obviously surprised when Neil found the sock in Lydon’s stomach but more relieved than anything.

"I feared the worst and was delighted to find out it was not something more sinister."