What does it mean to paw the head of an eagle?
Stroking owls - no thanks!
You can regularly see pictures or films of owls and birds of prey on social networks that are petted by people or look into the camera with googly eyes in a living room.
These recordings make it appear to many as if the birds enjoy human touch and pet life.
Unfortunately, this is a fatal error, because the animals' suffering due to a lack of facial expressions is not easy to see.
Only young birds that have been taken from their parents and raised by human beings will tolerate being touched by humans, and then only by the human being who raised them.
Such misrepresented birds consider themselves humans and are mentally disturbed by their rearing. They are not able to lead a normal, species-appropriate life with conspecifics their whole life.
This is why the hand-rearing and incorrect coinage of owls and birds of prey is prohibited by the Austrian Animal Welfare Act!
Stroking is not a natural behavior among owls or birds of prey. During the mating season, the animals occasionally care for each other's plumage in the area of the head plumage. However, other contacts usually pose a threat to them, e.g. from a predator.
All wild animals are naturally afraid of people and feel that they are approaching or even touching them as a great deal of stress.
Closing your eyes and turning your head are clear signs of displeasure. Since the birds are always tied and held by the legs with straps, the so-called Geschüh, they have no way of escaping the unpleasant touches for them.
Please explain to your family, friends and acquaintances that these seemingly cute photos depict animal cruelty!
Birds of prey shows
Animal-assisted therapy with owls
Short film about the problem of owl cafés in Japan
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