Callous & Cruel

A few days ago we received an email from a very distressed member of the public which included a You Tube link to footage of a soccer game between two Columbian clubs.  One of the teams had a wild owl living at its stadium and adopted it as a mascot. Whilst it’s difficult to tell from the images, it looks as though the football inadvertently hits the owl during the course of a game and falls stunned onto the pitch as a result.  

However, what happens next is more than clear and, it has to be said, caused serious disquiet amongst the team here at S.O.S..  A member of the opposing football team, a Panamanian player called Luis Moreno, walks towards the owl and looks for all the world as though he’s going to pick it up.  He doesn’t. Instead, he aims a hefty kick at the already stunned and bewildered bird, sending it flying along the ground.  Apparently the poor owl suffered severe injuries as a result of this cruel and heartless act and died a few hours later.

Such blatant animal abuse should not only be condemned, but many people believe the perpetrator should be held to account for his actions.  Though our emailer, Tracy, sent us the link to the incident on You Tube we do not feel inclined to reproduce it here, but she also sent us a link to a petition being raised which urges justice for the poor creature. At the time of writing, there are already well over 12800 signatures on it, so if you feel as outraged as we do, please add your name to it at

We would like to say thank you to Tracy for drawing this matter to our attention and for adopting one of our owls as a result of the experience. She wrote: ‘I was so devastated by what I saw I felt I had to give something back, no matter how small, as a way not only to help other owls but also to try somehow to make amends for what another human being was capable of.’

The proceeds of her donation not only help us to look after our resident owls, but also aid with the funding of our Raptor Hospital, where we treat injured wild birds with a view, wherever possible, to releasing them back into the wild.