Obese owl couldn’t fly because she ‘overindulged’ on mice

When you or I notice we have gained a few extra pounds we might change our diet or exercise to shed the weight, but when animals pack on the pounds, or in this case the grams, it’s a little harder. And the consequences could be quite severe.

On January 3, a concerned citizen brought a wet owl to Suffolk Owl Sanctuary in eastern England. At first they thought the female owl was unable to fly because she was soaking wet, but that wasn’t the case.

This soggy little owl was found in a ditch a few weeks ago. Usually in these instances we assume injury of sorts that is…

Posted by Suffolk Owl Sanctuary on Wednesday, January 29, 2020

“Upon weighing her, she was a rather chunky 245g (which is roughly a third heaver than a large healthy female little owl) and she was unable to fly effectively due to the fatty deposits around her body,” the sanctuary wrote on Facebook.

“It’s quite relatable — a plump owl that’s overdone it,” Rufus Samkin, head falconer, 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.

The obese owl was put on a strict diet.

Due to her extreme weight, the sanctuary’s falconers investigated possible explanations as to why she was overweight, but came to the conclusion that she just liked to eat.

“Natural obesity” was to blame. The area where the owl was found had a surplus of mice and voles, which the owl gladly feasted on.

After a strict diet, that resulted in a 20 to 30g weight loss, the owl was released back into the wild.

“We may see her again – we hope not,” Samkin said. “Hopefully, she’s learnt to keep her weight in trim so she can escape any predators or being picked up.”

Hey, it happens to the best of us! I hope this little owl watches her weight and doesn’t overindulge next time. Share this owl’s success story on Facebook!