Hundreds of pet owls abandoned in Britain as Harry Potter craze fades
From online dispatches
An adult Florida Burrowing Owl perches on a post at a local park in Miami. REUTERS photo
Hundreds of owls are being abandoned at sanctuaries across Britain after they were bought as pets by Harry Potter fans, Mirror.co.uk reported.
It is feared that many more owls have been illegally released into the wild and will eventually starve to death.
The Harry Potter series created a surge in demand for pet owls after fans saw Harry's avian companion Hedwig. Many of those who bought owls during the Potter craze are now reportedly bored of having to clean up after and take care of the birds, which can live up to 20 years.
Pam Toothill, who works at the Owlcenter sanctuary in Corwen, North Wales, said she only had six owls to look after before the films were released. "Now it's 100. It's all down to Harry Potter," she said. “People saw Harry’s owl in the movies and thought how cute and cuddly they looked. Now they are bored and fed up with all the work involved looking after an owl."
It is legal to keep an owl in Britain and no license is needed. Anyone caught releasing a captive owl, however, faces six months in jail or a 5,000-pound fine.