This little owl had a big appetite.
When the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary in England first took in this “soggy” bird, it thought she’d been injured or perhaps was struggling to fly because she was wet. Turns out she was just a tad too chunky to be airborne.
In social media posts, the rescue and conservation group explained that on weighing the bird, known as a “little owl,” they discovered she was “extremely obese” ― roughly a third heavier than they would expect a large healthy female little owl to be.
“This is extremely unusual for wild birds to get into this condition naturally,” the group wrote in a post.
The group’s head falconer, Rufus Samkin, told the BBC that the area where the owl was found had been crawling with voles and mice due to a mild winter.
“We think she’s just done incredibly well for herself and overindulged,” he said.
Samkin said that the owl had dropped 20 to 30 grams during her two-week stay, and he hoped she’d learned her lesson.
“Hopefully, she’s learnt to keep her weight in trim so she can escape any predators or being picked up,” he said.
Following a couple of weeks of observation on a strict diet, the little owl was released back into the wild Monday at a more natural weight.