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Owls as pets? Awesome stuff
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Mar 16, 2013, 08:48 PM
 
For some strange reason I was wondering if people kept red foxes as pets and that led me to owls. I got onto youtube and checked it out. Very cool stuff.... anyone here with an Owl for a pet?

Check these Youtube vids out....
Pet Owl ..so cool
Petting owl
"Lovely Owl"
Owl that wants to be pet
Baby owl
Barn Owl & Cat
Barn Owl Barney

Cheers
     
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Mar 17, 2013, 03:13 AM
 
I had an acquaintance who ran a wild animal shelter. A baby owl is in fact awesome.

It was like a super inquisitive hamster who could "leap" off the floor on the the table if it felt like it.
     
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Mar 17, 2013, 12:04 PM
 
I read an article awhile back about people trying to keep owls as pets, popularized by the Harry Potter books and movies.

The succinct version is that owls are wild animals and as such should not be kept as pets by anyone who is not a trained wildlife rehabilitation professional - and even they don't keep them as pets, per se. Owls have specific dietary and habitat needs that generally aren't going to be met by someone who "saves" an owl and keeps it captive. Not only that, but at least in the United States, most states have laws against capturing and keeping wildlife, with hefty fines and even jail time if you get caught.

Owls are super cute and very interesting to learn about, but please keep in mind that the animals we typically keep as pets today have been domesticated over many, many generations, and random adorable wild animals are not the same thing. Yes, there are special cases where a wild animal is adequately domesticated, but there are still serious risks - and it's still illegal unless you have the appropriate wildlife rehabilitation permit(s).

End of PSA.
     
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Mar 18, 2013, 10:27 AM
 
Foxes are too sneaky and independent to be pets. My dad feeds one when he has a cooking disaster. He throws out the chunk of meat into the back yard, and as if on a timer, the fox shows up about 7PM and eats and splits.

I do the same thing but I get Hawks in y back yard. Been feeding them old chicken and freezer burned hamburger. Predator birds are very dangerous though.
     
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Apr 13, 2013, 10:56 PM
 
Very cool….

Adopted by an Owl (YouTube)

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Apr 14, 2013, 10:23 AM
 
I used to work for a volunteer run conservation center that rescued birds of prey including owls. The birds were essentially our 'pets' in how we treated them. Most the birds were very intelligent, could be taught various things, aside from tricks there were rules they had to follow. We had a team of ~30 people who's primary job there was just to give the birds attention. It surprised me since I always thought of birds of prey being solitary creatures; but it turns out they often need more attention than dogs. Some would beg and scream and cry if they saw you giving another bird attention and not come to pet and talk them as well. Only a few species hated humans and their cage.

shifuiman
The succinct version is that owls are wild animals and as such should not be kept as pets by anyone who is not a trained wildlife rehabilitation professional
That could be said about just about any animal, especially cats.

Owls have specific dietary and habitat needs that generally aren't going to be met by someone who "saves" an owl and keeps it captive.
mice and poultry can't be met?
most states have laws against capturing and keeping wildlife, with hefty fines and even jail time if you get caught.
This is true; but I'd also like to point out... at least in the US... many species have been saved from extinction thanks to the pet trade which is essentially a natural captive breeding program. Sometimes these fed/state laws aren't practical or logical. I think cats should be illegal considering how much destruction they cause (such as eating endangered birds) and they make such a poor pet people don't even like to contain them in their house or yard... It's truly a wild animal.
     
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Apr 14, 2013, 03:49 PM
 
Especially cats?

Cats are pretty domesticated.
     
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Apr 14, 2013, 11:35 PM
 
Feral cats are almost impossible to domesticate. So are feral dogs.

Modern-day domesticated pets (cats and dogs mostly, since they are fairly intelligent compared to most other common pets like rodents and reptiles) have been domesticated for hundreds of years. They are easy to housetrain and generally can form a very fulfilling bond with their owners.

That being said, domesticated animals that end up in the wild will, after only one or two generations, revert to their pre-domesticated state to the point that they are completely wild. There have been plenty of cases of cat/dog hoarding where the animals in question cannot be rehabilitated because they and their offspring have never had actual human contact.

In the case of owls, there is a good amount of information available on why owls do not make good pets - particularly because of their socialization and mating needs (I recall specifically a bit about a woman who, licensed to rehabilitate and own owls, discovered that you frequently have to respond to their hoots, even in the middle of the night, during mating season, or else they can turn ugly pretty quickly).

While I realize the comment about cats is probably a troll since I have two cats and two dogs of my own, I think anyone with half a brain can see the difference between a species that has been domesticated throughout recorded history and a wild animal that has simply learned to not be scared of humans.
     
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Apr 15, 2013, 12:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
While I realize the comment about cats is probably a troll since I have two cats and two dogs of my own,
I didn't know you had cats but I would have assumed you did since most the country has cats or dogs. And of course everyone here who likes cats won't like my comment about them either. I approach this from a conservation biologist's perspective and cats have been a thorn in the side of our efforts since as far as I remember. So I bring it up from time to time when presented with the opportunity; since many people really don't know. The cat wouldn't be such a problem if people could keep it indoors or caged like many other pets... You know they eat baby owls given the chance.

I think anyone with half a brain can see the difference between a species that has been domesticated throughout recorded history and a wild animal that has simply learned to not be scared of humans.
Well maybe I don't have half a brain. BTW A chicken is considered domesticated, it's scientific name is Gallus gallus domesticus. Yet it doesn't have emotional connection to humans. It can survive without human care. It is mostly an un-trainable dangerous animal that often spurs your leg to assert its dominance. The word domestic means little other than animals that are common in captivity and the animals differ depending on what country you live. A parrot isn't considered domesticated but makes a better pet than a chicken. You're probably right, owls can't really be called good pets but they're not the worst either (ospreys are bad pets.); and if people are interested willing to put the time in while helping save a species, I have to encourage them. Too many species unnecessarily on critical life support.
     
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Apr 15, 2013, 01:10 AM
 
With the exception of humans, I think conservation of species is overrated.

I like animals, but I'd kill every last one of the furry bastards if that's what it came down to.
     
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Apr 15, 2013, 09:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
With the exception of humans, I think conservation of species is overrated.
It's called a food-chain for a reason. If there's nothing behind us, we're done for.

People don't understand how interrelated nature is.
     
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Apr 15, 2013, 12:24 PM
 
I think conservation of species is overrated.
..... I'd kill every last one of the furry bastards if that's what it came down to.
But it's not coming down to that. There's things I don't think are important and would do away with if it came down to it, but to start I don't have any right to.

If you dont like the option of having sea food in the future then lets just continue our current fishing practices. If you want to see the world more over run with rats than it already is then dont worry about helping owls and other birds of prey. We're headed to a world were the only food choices will be chicken, pork, rats (popular in other countries), locusts, rice, yam, invasive fish and beef as a rare delicacy, and Monsanto's deadly BT corn. YUM
     
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Apr 15, 2013, 12:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by el chupacabra View Post
The cat wouldn't be such a problem if people could keep it indoors or caged like many other pets.
Uhh, what? I'm all for indoor cats, they keep a-lot of household pests at bay, but caged?
     
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Apr 15, 2013, 01:55 PM
 
We have a 3/4 Serval, commonly called a Savannah, and he's completely tame. The sounds he makes can scare the bejesus out of you in the middle of the night (clicking, chirping, and barking), but he's so gentle and loving that I trust him around my toddler, and I don't even let some of my family members hold her. She pulls his tail, kisses him, hugs him, and he simply purrs (clicks) and licks her head, which she finds hilarious. He loves his harness, he'll bring it to you, and we hook him up and take him out for walks, or drive him out to the park where he can stalk rabbits and squirrels. He's about as dangerous as an English Whippet (and about the same size), unless you're a small, furry rodent.
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Apr 15, 2013, 03:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by el chupacabra View Post
The word domestic means little other than animals that are common in captivity and the animals differ depending on what country you live.
I'm not talking about various small animals that are kept as household pets in cages or terrariums or aquariums or whatever else - I'm talking specifically about animals that have been domesticated over centuries and are commonly found as human companions throughout written history in every kind of society.

There is a difference between a domesticated breed of animal and an animal that is simply trusting of humans and able to be trusted around humans.

Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
We have a 3/4 Serval, commonly called a Savannah, and he's completely tame. The sounds he makes can scare the bejesus out of you in the middle of the night (clicking, chirping, and barking), but he's so gentle and loving that I trust him around my toddler, and I don't even let some of my family members hold her. She pulls his tail, kisses him, hugs him, and he simply purrs (clicks) and licks her head, which she finds hilarious. He loves his harness, he'll bring it to you, and we hook him up and take him out for walks, or drive him out to the park where he can stalk rabbits and squirrels. He's about as dangerous as an English Whippet (and about the same size), unless you're a small, furry rodent.
I don't really have a long background in this, but there are multiple cases of wild animals being trained and "domesticated" and later reverting to their wild roots and attacking people. That's not to say it can't be done successfully - but I think it is fairly accurate to state that keeping a wild animal as a pet has far more risks in general associated with it compared to having a cat or a dog (or both).
     
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Apr 15, 2013, 05:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
It's called a food-chain for a reason. If there's nothing behind us, we're done for.

People don't understand how interrelated nature is.
Don't they call it a food web?

And don't they call it that precisely because the linear interrelationship you're implying isn't really linear?

Especially for an omnivore?
     
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Apr 15, 2013, 05:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by el chupacabra View Post
But it's not coming down to that. There's things I don't think are important and would do away with if it came down to it, but to start I don't have any right to.
Sure you do.

Your rights in this regard are only limited by who can stop you.

Until animals get guns, I think you're in the clear.
     
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Apr 15, 2013, 08:10 PM
 
Hey hawkeye_a those are some really cool videos. Owls seem to be more intelligent than I thought...and they're cute as well!
     
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Apr 15, 2013, 08:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hawkeye_a View Post
Hey hawkeye_a those are some really cool videos. Owls seem to be more intelligent than I thought...and they're cute as well!
Glad you enjoyed em! Feel free to post any videos you might find on the subject!

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Apr 15, 2013, 09:37 PM
 
That's the thing about cats. They aren't domesticated. They may be completely socialized though.
     
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Apr 15, 2013, 09:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hawkeye_a View Post
Hey hawkeye_a those are some really cool videos. Owls seem to be more intelligent than I thought...and they're cute as well!
Im not good at the facebook 1 liner thing but Ill give a try

Those are some really cool videos, the 2 videos below are my favorite, especially where he's riding in the car and on the girls shoulder. Whats interesting is I know a lot people with parrots and they generally need leashes for their parrot to not try and fly away while this owl does not.
Pet Owl ..so cool
He's sooo cute what an adorable pet! He would make a fine addition to any family.
Owl that wants to be pet

I do not like this video below with that harrable harrable awful wild animal bullying that cute tame innocent baby owl. I fear for his life and just see that creature flipping out reverting to its wild side one day and killing the poor little owl. Cruel as it may be, they should put that poor owl in his cage for his safety as he is the only animal in this picture domesticatable enough to live in a cage.
Barn Owl & Cat
( Last edited by el chupacabra; Apr 15, 2013 at 11:55 PM. )
     
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Apr 15, 2013, 10:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
I don't really have a long background in this, but there are multiple cases of wild animals being trained and "domesticated" and later reverting to their wild roots and attacking people. That's not to say it can't be done successfully - but I think it is fairly accurate to state that keeping a wild animal as a pet has far more risks in general associated with it compared to having a cat or a dog (or both).
He was never wild and his line has been in captivity for at least 3 generations, he's just a really big pussy cat (almost 22lbs). Servals, as a species, have been on the verge of domestication for centuries, it's not unheard of for completely "wild" ones to just walk up to strangers to beg for a treat or a rub. My only real issue with him is, compared to the other cats, he's kinda clumsy. Oh, and this:

ruby has a thing for my head - YouTube

Yeah, he does that. The other humorous part is that my other cats have started making non cat-like noises too, especially the chirping sound.
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Apr 16, 2013, 09:33 AM
 
     
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Apr 16, 2013, 08:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Animal planet has a documentary on him. I thought it was amazing how fast his pride came down and trusted the people when Christian did whatever it is lions do to communicate it was safe for them.

Along the same lines, Hoppy the Deer who was rescued as a fawn and raised like a puppy to be a house deer. Later he was released into the wild with a color and coat so hunters would know he was kind of a pet.
     
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Aug 17, 2013, 05:29 PM
 
I didn't want to start a new thread "Grizzlys as pets" and this thread not too old so...


Awww what an adorable pet!
Best 'Bear' in Wedding Inspires Wild Animal Show
     
   
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