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Rufus the hawk lands at Wimbledon for Olympics

(Xinhua)

09:20, July 23, 2012

LONDON, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Rufus the hawk, who is normally used to scare pigeons during the annual Wimbledon tennis championships, will show up in the sky above the All England Club again, this time for the Olympic Games.

His attendance was timely as pigeons have already discovered that the grass courts are being reseeded in time for the London 2012 tennis tournament.

Twelve of the 19 courts at Wimbledon will be used during the games and the rest of them will be used as practice. They have all been reseeded.

Rufus, a four-year-old harris hawk, lives on a form near Corby, Northamptonshire. He is not a natural predator of pigeons, but his frequent presence at Wimbledon "marks" the grounds as his territory and scares the pigeons away.

The hawk made headlines in June after he was stolen from a car during the first week of the championships. Three days later he was found and handed to his owner Imogen Davis.

Davis has earlier confirmed that Rufus would be brought to Wimbledon a few times during the Olympic Games, when he would fly around the grounds twice a day -- in the early morning and late evening -- when no members of the public were present.

The games' tennis tournament runs from July 28 to August 5.

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