Scotts of Helmsley answered a cry of help from the nearby International Centre for Birds of Prey, who were looking for a regular supply of fresh fish to feed to one of their star attractions – an ultra rare Steller’s sea eagle.
The bird in question – now tucking into fish-without-the-chips seven days a week – weighs 14lbs and has a massive 8ft wingspan.
Aged five, Inowashi – Japanese for big eagle – was one of the first Steller’s sea eagles to be bred in captivity in the UK, and is part of an important world-wide breeding programme to swell the birds’ numbers.
She has been at the International Centre for Birds of Prey – owned and run by Charlie Heap – since it opened last year, and takes part in the thrice-daily flying displays.
Scotts owner Tony Webster said: “We are delighted to help Charlie by supplying the centre with fish we can’t use. Whilst every chippie says they are ‘frying tonight’, we can boast that we are ‘flying’ every night too!
“Inowashi has now become our most regular customer. You can tell she loves the fish because she never leaves any scraps!”
Charlie said: “Being based in Duncombe Park, we are just around the corner from Scotts so thought I would be cheeky and ask if they might consider donating fish to us on a regular basis.
“With an estimated 5,000 pairs in the world, Steller’s sea eagles are very rare, therefore we have to look after Inowashi very carefully indeed.”
Scotts of Helmsley, which has just been presented with the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) Fish and Chip Quality Award – putting them in the top 2.5 per cent of chippies in the country – boasts a fully-licensed 75-cover restaurant, takeout counter and function room.
The International Centre for Birds of Prey, located within Duncombe Park, is open seven days a week and flying displays are held three times a day.
Further information about Inowashi and the International Centre for Birds of Prey is available from its website at http://www.icbp-duncombe.org/