The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital (JWVH) in Glenferness recently assisted a young barn owl found outside a trash can in an area in northern Johannesburg.
The young owl’s four siblings were found dead in the trash can.
Dr Karin Lourens from JWVH said that when the owl was admitted it was very weak, lethargic, dehydrated and unresponsive. He was immediately put on an IV and slowly began to show signs of improvement.
He also suffered a fracture at the bottom of his beak, although luckily it was only on one side and was not displaced, therefore not requiring surgical correction.
EcoSolutions Director Jonathan Haw spoke to the Midrand Reporter after visiting the estate on April 20.
He said it was suspected that the owls were breeding behind pigeon nets and that a company of pigeons was called in to remove the pigeons, along with them unknowingly also removing the young barn owls.
Haw said urban wildlife is believed to coexist with humans, but sometimes owls can be irritating and cause noise or damage.
He advised irritated residents to contact the SPCA which has a list of accredited facilities that will come to help residents.
EcoSolutions is one such facility that can install an owl box further away from your property, which could make it easier for humans and owls to live together.
He said that despite the sad situation of seeing four owls pass away, owls have the ability to recover and go through the process of relaying eggs and nesting.
Haw said EcoSolutions plans to install an owl box near where the chicks were found, where the owls are expected to be safe to nest again.
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