The Shellys Eagle Owl was last seen in the wild back in 1870. There is only thought to be a few thousand left (though obviously this is higher than we originally thought.). Estimates put the population between 1500-1700 though other estimates could see a population as high as 10,000. The bird was only seen for about 15 seconds, but enough photos were taken to make a positive identification. First identified in 1872 and a specimen was collected for the Natural history museum in London, from a hunter in Ghana. There have been occasional unconfirmed sightings in central and west Africa over the last few decades.
The birds discovery in the Atewa Forest has lead to it being given protection.