RSPCA issues warning after children are found playing with 'thin' owl in South Yorkshire wood

An owl has been rescued after children were found playing with it after removing it from its nest area in a South Yorkshire wood.

Monday, 20th June 2022, 5:22 pm
Updated Monday, 20th June 2022, 6:25 pm

The RSPCA said the distinctive young tawny was handed over to a bird of prey keeper by a concerned member of the public who found him grounded in a wood near Rotherham.

It is believed the fledgling had been moved away from the location of his nest by children.

RSPCA animal rescue officers Liz Braidley and Leanne Honess-Heather worked together to transport the owl from Wath-upon-Dearne to Ryedale Rehabilitation in Malton, North Yorkshire.

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The distinctive young tawny was handed over to a bird of prey keeper by a concerned member of the public who found him grounded in a wood near Rotherham.

The owl was thin, but otherwise bright and alert, and he is now enjoying some ‘tender loving care’ at Yorkshire Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre after his ordeal, under the watchful eye of wildlife rehabilitator Jean Thorpe

Liz said: “The owl had been taken to the keeper after someone found kids playing with him. Tawny owls do come out of their nest and climb up bushes and trees, but we would urge people to leave them where they are.

“We have seen people picking them up thinking they are helping as they are on the ground without realising their parents or offspring may be nearby.

“If people do find an owl outside the nest then our advice is they should monitor the situation first. They should go back to the location the next day to see if the owl is still there before contacting a wildlife rehabilitator or contacting the RSPCA.”

Jean, who has been looking after the owl since the rescue two weeks ago, said: “I have just been feeding him up and getting him going again and this week we will see how he is flying. But it will be a while before he is ready to be released.”

If a member of the public finds an injured wild animal, the RSPCA recommends that they first observe it to determine how badly it is hirt before taking it to a local vet or wildlife rehabilitator.

If unable to transport the animal or to find a wildlife rehabilitator to help, then contact the RSPCA online or call 0300 1234 999.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care, visit its website or call their donation line on 0300 123 8181.

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