It’s somewhat normal to see chubby squirrels and even pigeons in the wild, but when you think of overweight animals, you never really expect to hear about an obese owl, right? Thankfully, the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary recently rescued Plump, an owl that was so overweight, she was too fat to fly. (Don’t worry, this story does have a happy ending.)
- Plump was found in a ditch. While many times, rescued animals are found in dire situations like Plump’s because they’ve been somehow injured, it seemed that this little owl was found in a ditch because she was too obese to actually take flight. How terrible! Thankfully, the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary was there to step in. “This soggy little owl was found in a ditch a few weeks ago. Usually in these instances we assume injury of sorts that is preventing the owl from flying – occasionally becoming wet causes them to become grounded too – so you can imagine our surprise that when we examined her, we found her to simply be extremely obese!” the sanctuary wrote in a Facebook post on January 29.
- She weighed 245 grams (8.64 oz.) when she was found. While that doesn’t seem like very much, it’s highly unusual for a small owl like Plump to be so heavy. According to the sanctuary, that’s roughly a third heavier than normal for a small female owl like Plump, so you can see her weight was a serious issue and she was immediately put on a diet to help her out.
- Plump’s rescuers have no idea how she got so big. Suffolk Owl Sanctuary rescuers were desperate to discover what could have led the little owl to become so obese but were unable to unravel the mystery. “This is extremely unusual for wild birds to get into this condition naturally, so we needed to investigate some obvious scenarios – the first being that she was possibly an escaped aviary bird,” they continued in their Facebook post. “Sadly there was no indication of rings or chip identification, and asking around in the local area didn’t give us any leads.”
- They’re pretty sure she’s just naturally “plump.” After observing the owl for awhile, they noticed that she was happy to eat more wild food such as dark mice, so they’re now convinced that Plump just has “natural obesity” since the area where she was found was crawling with field mice. Who could resist? Thankfully, her diet worked and she’s already at a much healthier weight.
- Plump has already been released back into the wild. Suffolk Owl Sanctuary posted a video of her release on Facebook, and it’s clear she’s much happier and healthier now! Just try not to overindulge on the mice again, Plump.