‘Irresponsible’ people keeping raptors as pets in Okanagan and Shuswap

‘Irresponsible’ people keeping raptors as pets in Okanagan and Shuswap

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. 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

Okanagan Mission Secondary volleyball coach Paul Thiessen cheering his team on during the high school AAA playoffs. (Contributed)
OKM volleyball coach a provincial award winner

Paul Thiessen receives BC School Sports Merit Award for 2021-22

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna General Hospital clinicians observe increase in e-scooter injuries

A report is set to go to city council next week on how the e-scooter pilot has gone thus far

A rock quarry. (Markus Distelrath/Pixabay)
Regional district declines support of proposed Joe Rich quarry

The Regional District of Central Okanagan is one of the referral agencies for the application

(Pixabay photo)
Kelowna wants you to water its trees this summer

The city is asking residents to lend a hand and water city-owned trees amid drought-like conditions

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a summary of this week’s biggest stories from the Okanagan-Shuswap

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

Most Read