Letter to the Editor

Collateral damage

Los OsosFebruary 14, 2013 

Last month I was taking a morning walk with my dogs here in Los Osos. We were near the brick wall separating Morro Shores and the open field beyond when we discovered a barn owl scurrying around on the ground. Although I could not see an injury, it was obvious he could not fly. I threw my sweatshirt over him, scooped him up and drove to Pacific Care Wildlife Rescue in Morro Bay.

Their vet found evidence of rat poison and said it was, sadly, quite common. There is a rat problem here in Los Osos, but I just want to make sure people are aware that when they put up perches, boxes, etc. for owls, know that they will also be hunting in the area. A poisoned rat is a slow rat — easy pickings for all wildlife and household pets. The poison works in the new animal the same way it kills rats, causing them to bleed to death internally.

Our lucky little guy was released last week, thanks to everyone at Pacific Wildlife Care. I am hoping that writing this will remind us to think of the ripple effect of every single one of our actions.

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