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Harry Potter Blamed For India's Disappearing Owls

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the even-muggles-want-one dept.

Books 252

GillBates0 writes "Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has blamed fans of Harry Potter for the demise of wild owls in the country as children seek to emulate the boy wizard by taking the birds as pets. 'Following Harry Potter, there seems to be a strange fascination even among the urban middle classes for presenting their children with owls,' Ramesh said Wednesday, according to comments reported by the BBC."

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252 comments

Who do they blame for the smell? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34120724)

Thanks!

Do you like our owl? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34120750)

It's artificial.

Diwali (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34120792)

Right, and it absolutely, positively has nothing to do with diwali [thehindubusinessline.com] . Move along, move along. Blame Harry Potter!

also explains (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120796)

Hands with 4 fingers, kids wearing eyepatches, and all the M. avium & Cryptococcus infections.

Uh... oooookay... (5, Insightful)

fieldstone (985598) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120814)

I'm amazed to be the first saying this, but clearly the problem here is not Harry Potter, it's parents who aren't willing or able to tell their children "no". An owl is not a pet.

How endangered? (3, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120818)

The original source for this article, an article by the World Wildlife Fund's TRAFFIC division, explains this problem as one of illegal trading in the birds and the illegal capturing of wild owls.
http://www.wwfindia.org/news_facts/?4940/Black-magic-behind-illegal-owl-trade-in-India [wwfindia.org]

The word "endangered" is used in several articles referencing this problem. However, no article provides the wild owls' population numbers. Endangered species should be protected, but it should be shown that the species are indeed endangered.

I'm sure Harry Potter did provide some impetus behind taking these animals as pets, especially among young children, but the problem in India is further exacerbated by the belief in the magical properties of the owls, especially tufted owls. The culture of taking these birds from the wild is longstanding, and not traceable back to Harry Potter at all.

Right... (2, Interesting)

fieldstone (985598) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120834)

Yes, clearly the problem is Harry Potter rather than lousy parenting. If a child wants something that's both impractical and could be damaging to the ecosystem, a responsible parent says, "I'm sorry, but you can't have that." Real children are a lot more reasonable than Veruca Salt. And seriously, I'm amazed no one has made the comparison with baby alligators yet.

It wasn't Harry Poter (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120842)

My fascination with owls came much earlier than that, namely Farley Mowat, and reading Owls In The Family [wikipedia.org]

Course other than seeing a few in the wild and in zoos, I've never tried to capture one.

Why is no one asking thse questions? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34120852)

What if it is actually the demise of the wild owl that causes the popularity of Harry Potter?

Right... (-1, Redundant)

fieldstone (985598) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120864)

Yes, clearly the problem here is Harry Potter rather than lousy parenting. If your child wants something that's both impractical and could hurt the ecosystem, a responsible parent says, "No, I'm sorry, but you just can't have that." Real children are a lot more reasonable than Veruca Salt, and those who aren't can be disciplined until they learn to be. And really, hasn't anyone thought of the comparison with baby alligators?

Woohoo! We can blame fictional characters??? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120868)

...for our own weakness and stupidity? Hooray! Hey honey, it wasn't me that was unfaithful, it was Harry Potter. Damn that evil genius socerer! Burn him at the steak (with chips please)!

Amusing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34120878)

HAHAHAHAHAHA HAHA HAHAHA HA

In a more serious note, I blame the moon for my nightly shifts into my inner werewolf form which I don't know about.

First hoot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34120884)

HOOOOOOOOT

catch a wild bird? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120890)

And exactly how are they catching wild owls? Have you ever tried to catch a wild bird? The closest I've ever gotten to a wild owl was probably 30 feet. Well, with one exception, but it had a broken wing, was blind in one eye, and was being nursed back to health by a local farmer.

    I seriously doubt children have any significant impact on wild bird populations. I haven't known too many children who are good enough to build a trap for any sort of animal.

It could be worse. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34120924)

What if they were all getting pet Alligators, and then when they got bored, flushing them into the sewers?

What horrors!

Blame Harry Potter for people's idiocy... hmm... (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120962)

I suppose it won't be long before movie producers and book publishers are required to do research, prepare environmental impact statements, and seek approval before they can publish a film or distribute a book

Something tells me, a few public service announcements, and temporary moratorium on trafficing of owls, and fine/jail time for capturing an owl without a permit, could end the idiocy fairly quickly.

Other movies (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120964)

In other news, the number of wild lions seems to have gone down since the Narnia series began.

I remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34120966)

Yeah, I totally remember that one scene where Hermione disembowels her owl in a black magic ritual and then snorts shrooms under the moonlight.

First post by owl. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121002)

First post by owl.

Those are some fast children (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121004)

Catching a carnivorous wild animal on their own. Doesn't seem likely - even given that they're nocturnal.

Owls eat rodents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121034)

Don't owls eat rodents? This could end badly if a significant check on rodent populations is removed.

first hoot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121064)

first hoot

First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121066)

Either this story is broken, or I am finally a first post. Or I fail. All equally likely.

Ridiculous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121076)

(the spell)

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121096)

Sounds like a plan:

1. write a novel with flying, letter-delivering lawyers & lawmakers
2. wait for owl effect
3. enjoy world worth living in

Owlch.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121102)

Thats gotta hurt the native owl population. What a hoot!

hey, so my comment is crap.... so is the article.

Parents or children or rituals? (1)

Wanado (908085) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121122)

demise of wild owls in the country as children seek to emulate the boy wizard by taking the birds as pets.

Ah, silly children.

there seems to be a strange fascination even among the urban middle classes for presenting their children with owls

Oh, so it's the parents' fault.

Researchers found that a growing number of owls were being trapped, traded or killed in black magic rituals. [...] Diwali, one of the biggest Hindu festivals, [...] It said owls were sometimes sacrificed on auspicious occasions.

Oh, right. We were talking about black magic. This article is really easy to follow.

Owls in India (2, Funny)

seyyah (986027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121128)

... there seems to be a strange fascination even among the urban middle classes for presenting their children with owls ...

Hoo knew?

Your mother. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121130)

Sucks cocks in hell.

lolwhut (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121138)

There was no rush on owls reported anywhere in Europe or the US that I recall. Is Harry Potter more popular in India, or do Potter fans in India just get much more into it?

First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121144)

O rly? I would like to roast tens of owls for Dawali!

Rats (1)

ShadowFalls (991965) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121160)

Imagine if they started to emulate Harry Potter's friend in NYC. Sounds like a public service to me. Sure someone right now is thinking of a way to use it a tax write-off.

Damn too bad they (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121164)

To bad they didn't have pet politicians in the movie instead. I wouldn't mind some disappearing politicians myself.

Best pairing ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121180)

Draco/Hedwig FTW!

I kid you not!

Damn too bad they (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121206)

To bad they didn't have politicians as pets in the movies I wouldn't mind having less of them around, or maybe lawyers.

pass the blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121222)

how dare people be held accountable for their own actions!

First hoot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121236)

First hoot

First! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121246)

First! Sorry...had to do it. I've never actually gotten a first comment on Slashdot before. Now why did it have to be about bloody owls? Probably will peck the kid's eyes out!

Hoo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121276)

...woulda thunk it?

Skynet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121280)

I blame fans of The Terminator for the demise of the human race.

O RLY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121292)

I mean, umm, I'm skeptical that there are enough people taking owls as pets to have a material impact on the wild owl population.

sure (1)

eyrieowl (881195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121344)

leave out the part about the Pure One's stealing their young away in the night to work as slaves in the fleck mines.... *that's* all a myth...it's the wizards, really!

Woot Woot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121366)

First Post

sure (1)

eyrieowl (881195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121372)

leave out the part about the Pure Ones coming and stealing their youth away in the night to work as slaves in the fleck mines. *that's* just a myth...it's the wizards. really!

WTF about " even among the urban middle classes" ? (1)

PaulBu (473180) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121378)

I would think that upper classes would just import an already magically trained Owl from a breeder "somewhere else", where breeding has been outsourced (Indonesia? :) ), and lower and/or rural middle classes would just catch their own in the wild...

Which leaves only "urban middle class" to try to aquire one on an open market, so, no surprise there!

(and yes, I do like owls, no harm wished towards them, as opposed to the summary editors! :) )

Paul B.

sure (1)

eyrieowl (881195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121392)

leave out the part about the Pure Ones coming to steal their young away in the night to work as slaves in the fleck mines. *that's* just a myth...it's the wizards. really!

'Jaws' effect... (2, Interesting)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121408)

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/fl-endangered-sharks-20101030,0,1055241.story [orlandosentinel.com]

This happened with sharks after Jaws and continues to this very day. The original author of Jaws, Peter Benchley, said that he regretted writing the novel and the creation of the film because it lead to the mass killing of so many species of sharks.

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/books/news/article_1097132.php/Peter_Benchley_author_of_Jaws_dies_at_65 [monstersandcritics.com]

First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121412)

Wow first ever first!

Can I be the first to say... (1)

LuNa7ic (991615) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121428)

Who gives a hoot? --------- Also, why the hell didn't it submit the first time I tried to post this?

Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121432)

Good grief.

So much for the Futurama owl pest problem (1)

GinRummy33 (629101) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121446)

So I guess we won't have a future where owls are a major pest problem like pigeons, according to Futurama's prediction.

Yeah that's it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121474)

Let's blame global warming on the coldest ass winter Canada is ever going to see in 2010-2011!

Blasphemy! (0)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121524)

Blasphemy! Merely insinuating being up to par with HP is simply scandalous. Who do they think they are?

You have to draw the line and not pass it! I for one will not exceed the fine and delicate line of a real doll named Hermiony.

First Post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121528)

My Owl just delivered this, he's a fast one.

may the owl jokes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121572)

begin.

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