EcoSolutions received a call from the Meyerton Vet a few weeks ago regarding a young barn owl (Tyto alba) that was handed into them.
Although these calls are common, this case was different in that it gave us the opportunity to promote owl awareness and debunk some owl mythology.
The owl was handed in by a staff member of Group 5 Pipe after he noticed that some of his co-workers were hostile towards the owl and were considering selling it as traditional medicine.
Later that day, EcoSolutions collected the barn owl from the vet and visited the Group 5 Pipe site where six young barn owls were discovered nesting in a crane. The owl that had been handed in was the youngest sibling who hadn’t mastered flying yet and couldn’t get back into the nest.
EcoSolutions used this opportunity to arrange an educational talk for the workers emphasising the ecological importance of owls. We changed quite a few perceptions about owls by the end of the presentation. On the day of the talk, the young barn owl, which was given a clean bill of health by the vet, was ringed with a SAF-ring and released back where he came from.
EcoSolutions believe that educational interactions such as these are fundamental to the peaceful cohabitation between humans and owls.