Monday, January 03, 2005

Owls at risk from Harry Potter??
Owls are being put at risk by the ongoing popularity of Harry Potter, an Ayrshire animal welfare expert said.
The birds are becoming increasingly popular with children emulating their young wizard hero, who has a pet owl.
The most popular would-be pets are barn owls, which are native to the UK and breed easily in captivity.But these birds can live for up to 30 years, long after their child owners have grown up.Now wildlife experts have issued a warning.
But they are at risk when owners tire of them and release them into the wild.
Gay Christie, who runs Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Trust in Beith, Ayrshire, a charity which treats injured birds and animals for release back into the wild, said: “We have found a big increase in the want for owls, mainly barn owls, but we have also seen some eagle owls which are not from the UK.“I think Harry Potter is something to do with it.“They are not ideal pets – it is not much of a life for the barn owl.“The problem is barn owls do breed very well in captivity and for £30 or £40 you can have a barn owl. They are easy to come by. It is not illegal to buy owls bred in captivity.“A lot of these owls live for 30 years and not a lot of people know what they are doing in three years.“I think a lot of people let them go, thinking they will have a better life in the wild, but it is illegal to release a captive-bred barn owl.“Barn owls have often been taken away from their parents and fed by people - they are imprinted by people so their chances of hunting in the wild are very small and they often do not mix with other owls.“Our advice is always not to get an owl as a pet. Instead an alternative is to sponsor one of our owls.”
**Please think before purchasing a wild creature such as these. Ty

No comments: