NATIONAL NEWS

A Rescued Owl Was ‘Too Fat To Fly’ After Bingeing On Mice

Jan 29, 2020, 10:06 AM

The female "little owl" was a third heavier than normal for the species. (Courtesy Suffolk Owl Sanc...

The female "little owl" was a third heavier than normal for the species. (Courtesy Suffolk Owl Sanctuary)

(Courtesy Suffolk Owl Sanctuary)

(CNN) — Holiday overindulgence may not be an exclusively human weakness — as a team of falconers discovered after rescuing an owl that was too fat to fly.

Suffolk Owl Sanctuary in eastern England was called to rescue the female “little owl,” known scientifically as athene noctua, after a concerned passerby found it sodden in a ditch.

Head falconer Rufus Samkin told CNN that the team took in the owl on January 3.

At first they thought she had been injured or that her flying was impeded by the fact she was wet — but even after drying off and getting a clean bill of health, the tubby avian still struggled to fly up to the perches in the aviary.

The team then considered whether the owl had been kept as a pet — but it found “no evidence” of that being the case, as she refused foods commonly given to pet birds in favor of feed eaten by wild owls.

“It’s quite relatable — a plump owl that’s overdone it,” Samkin told CNN.

“We thoroughly examined it and found there was nothing wrong, other than it being extraordinarily overweight. It was very, very plump and very wet,” he said.

“Owls do have an issue with waterproofing — so if they do get wet they can’t fly as well. But this one couldn’t really fly at all,” he added.

“It was about one third bigger than the average female we’d get — so significantly larger.”

In particular, the owl had lots of “fatty deposits” around its thighs and abdomen, he said.

“When we dug a little deeper and looked into where she was found we discovered the place was crawling with wild mice.

“It’s been a really good year for prey species, so I think she’s basically just massively overindulged, got really plump, and then got caught in a wet spell and was too fat to fly.”

The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary kept the owl on a diet for two weeks to bring her back within a healthy weight range and on Monday released her back into the wild where she was found, Samkin said.

“She definitely needed to go on a diet,” he added. “Hopefully she’s learned a thing or two.”

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 19: Passengers look at a  flight information board showing multiple delays an...

Associated Press

A massive tech outage is causing worldwide disruptions. Here’s what we know

Much of the world faced online disarray Friday as a widespread technology outage affected companies and services across industries.

1 minute ago

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks at the 115th NAACP National Convention in Las Vegas, July 16, 202...

Zeke Miller, Lisa Mascaro, Michael Balsamo and Aamer Madhani

Biden’s campaign chair acknowledges support ‘slippage’ but says he’s staying in the race

President Joe Biden’s campaign is insisting anew he's not stepping aside. Biden's campaign chair on Friday acknowledged “slippage” in support but told MSNBC the campaign sees “multiple paths” to beating Republican Donald Trump.

1 hour ago

FILE - Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands in a glass cage in a courtroom in Yekat...

Kirill Zarubin

Russia convicts US reporter of espionage after a trial widely seen as politically motivated

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich has been convicted of espionage charges that his employer and the U.S. vehemently reject.

5 hours ago

In this photo illustration a Crowdstrike logo seen displayed on a smartphone. The global computer o...

Sean Lyngaas

What is CrowdStrike, the company linked to the global outage?

The global computer outage affecting airports, banks and other businesses on Friday appears to stem at least partly from a software update issued by major U.S. cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike

5 hours ago

Travelers wait in Terminal 1 for check-in at Hamburg Airport, in Hamburg, Germany, Friday July 19, ...

Charlotte Graham-McLay, Elaine Kurtenbach and David McHugh

Widespread global tech outage disrupts flights, banks, hospitals and media outlets

A global technology outage grounded flights, knocked banks and hospital systems offline and media outlets off air in a massive disruption that affected companies and services around the world and highlighted dependence on software from a handful of providers.

6 hours ago

Frontier Airlines at Los Angeles International Airport. (AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Image...

David Goldman, CNN

Frontier and other airlines at a standstill, brought down by massive Microsoft outage

A significant Microsoft outage has brought low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines and some competitors to a standstill, and a regulator halted departures.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

A Rescued Owl Was ‘Too Fat To Fly’ After Bingeing On Mice