Manager Dale Belvedere of the SORCO Raptor Rehab Centre is treating three great horned owls for suspected poisoning. Mark Brett/Western News

UDPATE: Owls being treated for suspected Warfarin poisoning

Owls believed to have been poisoned in Oliver

“Cautiously optimistic” was the prognosis Tuesday for the recovery for three members of a great horned owl family, victims of suspected of Warfarin poisoning.

According to manager Dale Belvedere of the SORCO Raptor Rehab Centre where the trio are being cared for, the two owlets and the mother are eating and showing definite signs of improvement.

“Mom (who was blind when she was brought to the centre late last week) is seeing silhouettes, she’s kind of following us when we go in,” said Belvedere. “She’s still not flying but she is standing better and the babies seem to be okay, but they’re still very protective of her, whether they know something is wrong, I don’t know.”

The manager initially received a call from a person in Oliver advising an adult owl had been seen on a picnic table for three days and hadn’t moved. The owlets were in a nearby tree.

“When I got there she showed signs of being poisoned, her vision was impaired, she can’t see although her vision seems to have improved somewhat, she can’t fly and one talon she’s lost the use of,” said Belvedere initially. “We had to rescue her and we had no choice but to rescue the babies because they’re not hunting yet which means she and the father were probably hunting and giving them poison food.”

She believes the Warfarin, likely being used to kill rodents, was not on the property where the birds were found but had been spread around a neighbouring RV Park.

“So these people, not thinking, put down Warfarin, it makes them bleed internally and it can take a rat or a mouse up to three days to die, a very painful death and in turn that’s what happens to the raptors or any animal, it could be the neighbour’s cat that ingests it,” said Belvedere. “It’s unfortunate but people just don’t think, they think it’s the easy way because they don’t have to put down traps, they don’t have to bait them, they don’t have to take out the dead animal so they just throw this stuff down, they’re not realizing what they are doing.”

At the time the male had not been seen for five days and has not been located. It’s feared he may have succumbed to the poison.

Related: South Okanagan owl and raptor centre welcomes Bad Company

When she got the sick birds back to the centre Belvedere immediately began administering the antidote Vitamin K1 which she had on hand after a similar incident earlier this year in Kelowna. That bird did survive and will hopefully soon be released.

“The last one (poisoned owl) we had the vision did come back and it was the same thing, she was totally blind when we got it and you could see it started to follow you and that’s what she’s doing so I’m hoping she will get her whole sight back,” said Belvedere. “Her pupils look much better than they did at the very beginning so I don’t see why not, with the antidote we got it into her very quickly.”

The owls are now down to a single dose of antidote a day and Belvedere is hoping the mother will begin to fly within the next three to five days.

The treatment regime lasts for 21 days.

 

An owlet sitting on a perch in the SORCO flight pen. Mark Brett/Western News

A mother great horned owl and one of two owlets in care at the SORCO Rehab Centre. Mark Brett/Western News

Just Posted

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

James and Jamesy return to Penticton for more Christmas tea

Their Dec. 17 show explores friendship, the joy of giving, and a celebration of the imagination

Santa Parade lights up the streets of Penticton

People lined Main Street through the rain and chill in the air.

Tenore trio want to celebrate a Christmas with You

The tenor group performs at Penticton’s Church of the Nazarene tonight at 6 p.m.

Help the RCMP cram the kennel today at Cherry Lane

RCMP officers and volunteers will be filling kennels with donated food and pet supplies.

Video: Magicians and Bubble Wonders highlight Penticton Shriners Variety Show

The annual fundraiser filled the Cleland Community Theatre on Sunday.

Dance cancelled after Alberta teacher’s climate lesson prompts online threats

School district near Red Deer cancelled annual family dance due to Facebook comments

Man with possible ties to Kelowna wanted by Vernon RCMP

Dustin Kenneth Veselic may be connected to the Kelowna area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

Farm buildings drive value of Sumnmerland’s November building permits

Permits issued so far this year total $45,378,800

In surprise move, defence won’t call witnesses for accused in Abbotsford school killing

‘Change of instructions’ results in defence closing case without calling evidence

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

74% of 911 calls are from cellphones, so know your location: E-Comm

Cell tower triangulation generally only narrows location down to the block someone is calling from

Most Read