‘Irresponsible’ people keeping raptors as pets in southern B.C.

Three cases of people keeping birds of prey as pets documented

A great horned owl has been euthanized and a red-tailed hawk is facing a similar fate due in large part to the “irresponsible and illegal” human behaviour.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service and SORCO Raptor Recovery Centre (based in Oliver) dealt with three cases recently, including two on the weekend, of people trying to keep the birds of prey as pets.

In the case of the red-tailed hawk, nicknamed Daisy, the raptor was found by an Armstrong man in his backyard when she was about two weeks old, according to SORCO manager Dale Belvedere.

She said the unidentified man kept the bird for nearly two weeks, feeding her only boneless, skinless chicken and as a result, the bird has not developed properly.

READ MORE: Birds of a feather flock together at Okanagan raptor recovery centre open house

“It’s not a good story. She is standing now but she’s really small for her age because she didn’t get what she needed and she is completely, completely imprinted on humans,” said Belvedere. “She’s not even flying. She should be trying and is about half the size of a red-tail chick should be.

“Raptors eat the complete rodent and then they digest it and they get the calcium and magnesium from the bones and fur and then regurgitate them so she didn’t get that from a couple of weeks old.”

According to the manager, the man eventually called Conservation saying the hawk was not eating.

“They (Conservation) forced him to come down from Armstrong that night they were so livid he had her,” said Belvedere. The man was given a written warning.

The other two cases last weekend involved great horned owls.

One was in the Mission area near Kelowna where a woman reportedly found an injured owl on the side of the road. She contacted SORCO and was instructed to take the owl the veterinarian.

“The woman called the vet and said she’s not bringing it in she was going to keep it as a pet because it was so cute. This was an adult and it only had half a wing and it was missing three toes,” said Belvedere.

She said the vet told her how dangerous the bird could be and it was finally brought it in and euthanized.

“I think that was Sunday morning they brought it to the vet, and the people had had it since Friday night, so this poor bird suffered terribly,” said Belvedere.

READ MORE: Friendly falcon now in residence at Okanagan raptor rehab centre

The other incident involved a person who found a great horned owl on the highway between Osoyoos and Keremeos and took it home to Salmo, nearly four hours away.

“The lady who found it finally called me and I instructed them to bring it to the vet in Nelson and they didn’t and she shut off her cell phone,” said Belvedere who immediately contacted Conservation.

After four days, during which time the bird did not eat, it was taken to the vet in Nelson and has since been transferred to SORCO.

“It’s completely emaciated and it’s very, very weak,” said Belvedere. “People don’t understand it is illegal to keep a bird of prey because they are the property of the ministry (Environment and Climate Change Strategy) and they could receive a very hefty fine, as well as the longer it takes for us to get the bird, the less chance it has to survive.”

Micah Kneller, Conservation Officer for the North Okanagan, stressed the importance of turning in found birds to organizations best equipped to take care of them.

“People have the best interests of the bird at heart but in actuality, they don’t. They don’t have the skills or the knowledge to rear them. In the long run, it ends up being worse for the birds,” Kneller said. “We ask that if people find injured or orphaned wildlife to call a RAPP line number at 1-877-952-7277 and they can receive instructions from us from there.”


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Drivers recovering after lumber truck crash closes Highway 97 Monday

Police ask witnesses to contact the detachment at 250-392-6211

Fraser River slide has ‘huge’ impact on community: Tl’etinqox chief

Alphonse estimated up to 170,000 sockeye returned to local tributaries this year

TNG and Taseko agree to meet in person, halt litigation and exploration

Initiated by the provincial government, the talks will take place over the next year

UPDATE: Highway 97 reopened after motor vehicle incident involving loaded lumber truck

Incident occurred Monday afternoon about 25 kilometre north of Williams Lake

Charges dropped against 100 Mile physician in sexual assault case

Michael Mthandazo entered into a peace bond

VIDEO: Merriam-Webster declares ‘they’ its 2019 word of the year

Declared word of year based on a 313-per-cent increase in look-ups on the company’s search site

Anti-money laundering agency warns casinos to watch gamers playing with bank drafts

Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, known as Fintrac, issues operational alert

‘Jurassic World 3’ will film in Metro Vancouver under working title ‘Arcadia’

Filming is set to take place between Feb. 24 and March 6, 2020

Strata rental bans escape B.C. speculation tax through 2021, Carole James says

Vacant home tax won’t apply to cabins accessible only by water

China hints at national security trials for 2 Canadians detained for one year

The two Canadians’ detention is largely seen as retaliation for the arrest of a Huawei exec

B.C. seaplane company set to test the first commercial electronic plane

The plane is powered by a 750 horsepower electric motor

Fireballs to fill the sky Friday for brightest meteor shower of the year

Geminid meteor shower features colourful, brighter, longer shooting stars

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

Most Read