Kidnapped raptors returned to their natural habitat in Shanghai
The International Fund for Animal Welfare Beijing Raptor Rescue Center (IFAW BRRC) has rehabilitated and released two birds which were thought to be kidnapped from southern China and taken to Beijing. The grass owl and Asia barred owl, were found in Beijing—outside of their natural habitat—received treatment at IFAW BRRC and were released in Haiwan National Forest Park in Fengxian, Shanghai.
According to Crane Zhang, a raptor rehabilitator at IFAW BRRC, “Asia barred owls are found in areas south of the Yellow River and grass owls in regions south to the Yangtzi River. Neither of these species is found in Beijing, as the temperature does not suit them and their natural prey cannot be found in the region. These two owls were most likely illegally captured, transported and sold in Beijing.”
In November, the birds were brought cuddled together in a plastic basket to a fishing equipment store in Gulou. The store owner knew they were very rare, protected animals and contacted IFAW BRRC immediately.
“Because of their illegal capture, long-distance transport, along with the pressure being locked up in a basket, the owls were extremely weak and their feathers were hurt in various degrees,” added Zhang.
At IFAW BRRC, raptor rehabilitators gave the birds thorough checkups and created detailed rehabilitation plans. After three weeks of treatment, the owls showed good results of all physical tests and were ready to be released.
“We are very happy to see these two owls returned to their home,” said Lisa Hua, IFAW China campaigns manager. “Many wild animals lose their lives every day in the trading chain. If anyone encounters a raptor or other wild animal dealer, please contact relevant law enforcement agencies.”
About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.