The owlproject.org is a non-profit organisation (NPO) that hosts educational programmes through schools in Gauteng. Its aim is to create owl-friendly children in owl-friendly environments.
The Sandton SPCA received a call from a lady in Alexandra Township after boys were throwing stones at a barn owl (Tyto alba). The SPCA’s inspector collected the owl and it was taken to the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital for treatment.
The Sandton SPCA’s inspector knew the group of children and members of the owlproject.org went with the inspector to meet them. The project’s coordinator, Delina Chipape, spoke to the children about the importance of owls within our environment. The welcome was overwhelming and even others joined in on the impromptu owl talk in the streets of Alexandra Township.
Our initial plan was to release the owl at the children’s school so they could be directly involved in the project. By the time the owl had recovered, the school holidays had begun. However, the Sandton SPCA was more than happy to assist with the release programme.
These youngsters agreed to feed the owl twice a week. They walked to the Sandton SPCA every day to feed the owl and they even invited their friends! On the last day of the release programme, the Sandton SPCA and the owlproject.org planned an educational Owl Day. Owlproject.org gave a talk to the children, who received T-shirts and caps as prizes and also got to dissect owl pellets. The youngsters loved it! At the end of the day, they each received an Owl Ambassador certificate.