“Please do not use poison to solve your rodent problem!”
"It is truly heart breaking - it is breeding season now and this beautiful owl was probably just trying to feed her young. It is to be hoped that the little ones are not all poisoned as well.”
This rather urgent plea went out this week on one of Napier's community social media platforms - urging residents to heed warnings not to use poison to get rid of rodents. This well-known local “bird rescuer and expert in this field”, made mention of the fact that they sadly had to “humanely euthanise” two beautiful spotted eagle owls this week due to “secondary poisoning”.
Residents put poison out to get rid of mice or rats. The rodents are then caught and eaten by owls with dire consequences. Many owls are injured and are then taken in at the owl sanctuary where they often have to lead the rest of their lives in captivity as they will be unable to survive out there in nature.” Apart from this threat, owls are unfortunately also often the targets of human superstition.
Secondary poisoning can be prevented
Death because of secondary poisoning, however, can be prevented by opting for a safer and less toxic methods when trying to get rid of worrisome rodents. Do consult your local vet or even role-players in agriculture to suggest alternative ways and means to get rid of rodents. Owls are becoming more and more “endangered” as civilization is slowly encroaching on and moving nearer and nearer to their natural living spaces.