On Friday two men showed up on our front door step at 6:15am. They were carrying a baby owl with them. Carmen went outside to discuss the situation and hoped to be able to obtain the owl from the men. Luckily, she walked out and took the animal out of the man’s hand, to his surprise. They went on to ask for ‘a little something’ for bringing the animal to her. She explained to them that it is illegal to buy or sell a wild animal. And told them if they would like to wait, she will call the local authorities to discuss the situation. They declined and left very quickly.
This situation is not uncommon in this area. People catch wild animals; birds, snakes, primates etc and bring them to us or other people they think have money, and asked to be paid. Sometimes we manage to take the animal, sometimes the people refuse and leave if we tell them we will not pay them. Even at the expense of that one animal, it is important that we do not cave in and give money to these sorts of people. If we do, they will continue to go out and collect more wild animals, hoping that we will continue to give them a ‘little something’ for their trouble. If we do not pay, they may not be bothered with the effort to try again, seeing they got nothing.
Luckily this time, Carmen was able to keep the owl, and did not give the men anything in return. Sadly, it is a baby owl and therefore cannot be released. This is a difficult case for us, as we are a primate sanctuary, and do not have the facilities at the ready to care for a baby, omnivorous, nocturnal bird. However, we are doing our very best for him. He is living at the house with us at present, and we are searching for the appropriate food source which he enjoys the most.