The staff members at the sanctuary had to put her on a strict two-week diet program.
Snacking too much and then not being able to or rather not wanting to move is something most of us have done. Apparently this is not exclusive to us humans but also extends to the bird world. An owl was rescued by a concerned passerby from a ditch and was at first thought to have fallen down due to an injury. But it was later found that the owl had overindulged in its mice snacks and was now too fat to fly. The owl was said to have been "soggy" and was taken to the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary in eastern England for treatment.
Rescued owl was 'too fat to fly', Suffolk sanctuary says https://t.co/0e1HVaw3mK— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) January 29, 2020
The little owl was found to be an "Athene noctua." The staff at the sanctuary realized after an examination and several tests that the owl was not injured at all but was "simply extremely obese" and "unable to fly effectively" as a result, reported BBC. It was said to be an "unusual case of natural obesity" for the owl. Because of this unheard-of condition, the staff at the sanctuary christened the owl "Plump." She is now under the care of the sanctuary where they are now putting her on a diet so she will be able to go back to her flying days.
At the time of her admission to the sanctuary, Plump was 245g. She was around a third heavier than what a large healthy female little owl would have weighed. She was then put on a strict two-week diet program to help her lose the extra weight and reach a weight more natural for her. Plump then managed to lose between 30g and 40g over the course of the fortnight weight loss program, reported The Independent. Her intake was monitored during those two weeks. After Plump's successful weight loss journey, she was released back to the wild, the sanctuary stated.
"This is the first time we’ve had this. It’s quite unusual," the sanctuary’s head falconer Rufus Samkin noted. "After Christmas, we can all relate," he added. The sanctuary said that it was "extremely unusual for wild birds to get into this condition naturally." The staff also had to ensure that she was indeed from the wild and had not escaped from an aviary or was not a pet. She also did not have chips, rings, or other identification marks which led them to conclude that the owl was from the wild. She was equally drawn to bright yellow chicks which was not found in the wild as much as she was to wild-type foods such as dark mice, like a true foodie.
Fawlty Towers has got you covered. 😁 pic.twitter.com/Enx8n9ts0X— *Discombobulated* Suzanne (@Originals_in) January 31, 2020
"Where she was found is very productive land, and it's been a mild winter and there's a lot of food around - voles, mice," Samkin said. "We think she's just done incredibly well for herself and overindulged." He went on to say, "We may see her again - we hope not," and added, "Hopefully, she's learned to keep her weight in trim so she can escape any predators or being picked up."
I’d be the type to be granted the gift of flying, only to be too fat to use it 😂— agirlwithnoname (@Dejavecu20) January 29, 2020
Stop fat shaming the owl 😂— Maggie (@MaggieBlack) January 29, 2020