Verreaux's Eagle-Owl - A Proxy for Witches
Another legendary creature, this one lives in the dry savanna and open woodlands of South Africa. The Verreaux's eagle-owl is considered a proxy for witches and sorcerers. The arrival of an eagle-owl at one's homestead is viewed by the superstitious as a bad omen. Many people in the rural communities put spikes on the roofs of their homes to prevent owls from landing on them at night.
In this part of the world, it's a well known fact that if an eagle-owl takes up residence in an urban setting, the local, domestic cat population will become decimated. The Verreaux's is the largest owl in Africa and it's distinguished by noticeable pink eyelids. In a land teeming with formidable predators, this winged giant is absolutely lethal.
Despite it's massive size, the eagle-owl is remarkably agile. It's perfectly capable of taking small birds on the wing and it's been seen wading through water snagging fish. These robust birds of prey don't back down either. A report from East Africa documents a Verreaux's eagle-owl confronting a rhinoceros. The owl apparently puffed up its feathers and threatened the bewildered rhino when it approached too close.