Rescued owl found to be too obese to fly

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Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Animal rescuers in Britain said an owl found stranded in a ditch was initially feared to be injured, but turned out to be merely too fat to fly.

The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary said a member of the public reported spotting a possibly injured owl stranded in a ditch a few weeks ago, but rescuers took the female bird for an examination and discovered she wasn't injured, just overweight.


The sanctuary said the owl, who they named Plump, weighed 8.6 ounces, about 1/3 heavier than the average weight for a healthy female of her species.

Officials said they initially suspected Plump may have lived in captivity or received food from humans, but her eating habits at the sanctuary showed she prefers the dark mice she would feast on in the wild, indicating her weight is "an unusual case of natural obesity."

The area where Plump was found was discovered by rescuers to have an unusually high population of mice and voles.

Plump was put on a two-week diet and lost nearly 1 1/2 ounces, enough to allow her to be released back into the wild.

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