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During this year’s Glastonbury Festival, Secret World Wildlife Rescue received a pair of young little owls found in a very unusual place.

The first little owl chick was found under the Stage Left steps of the Pyramid Stage during Guns N’ Roses’ headline set on Saturday night. The finder named it ‘Axl’ (after the band’s vocalist Axl Rose) and initially took it to RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife near Taunton. It was transferred to SWWR shortly afterwards.

The following day, we received a call about another bird found in the same place, thought to be Axl’s sibling. Axl and Slash (named after Guns N’ Roses’ guitarist) were soon reunited and clearly pleased to see each.

Photo credit Secret World Wildlife Rescue

Both Axl and Slash are now in an outside aviary at Secret World Wildlife Rescue and although a little camera shy are both doing well, no signs of them exhibiting their musical talent yet though!

David Plant, Fundraising Manager at SWWR, added:

“When Guns N’ Roses were playing “Welcome to the Jungle,” I’m sure they didn’t realise how close they actually were to wildlife! This is possibly the most unusual disturbance case we’ve heard about this year, but it just goes to show the importance of checking your surroundings for wildlife before any activity.

The Pyramid Stage frame is left in place all year when Worthy Farm goes back to being a dairy farm. Clearly a pair of little owls thought it would be a great place to make a nest. They are a cavity-nesting species, favouring holes in old trees, but they have been recorded nesting in rabbit holes and take well to man-made nest boxes.

Whether you’re renovating your garden, or setting up for the world’s biggest musical festival, our advice is always the same: if you’ve got materials or structures that have been in place for a while, please check them carefully before moving anything, as you may end up disturbing a nest. It looks like the parents sadly abandoned their nest once festival preparation began, so it’s difficult to say how long the chicks were left alone. We’re so grateful to the people who found and helped them; they must have been terrified after enduring almost 2 full days of loud music.”

Photo credit Kelly Cronin (Axl’s finder)

We’re hopeful that they won’t be “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” any time soon, and we’ll be making plans to return them to the wild once they’re old enough, so they’ll get their chance to experience some “November Rain” later in the year.”

We are open 8am till 8pm 365 days a year, and always happy to help with your wildlife queries. If you’ve found an animal you think may be sick, injured, or orphaned, please call 01278 783250 for advice before intervening unless the animal is obviously in immediate danger.

If you’d like to help support the owls’ rehabilitation and eventual release, please consider a donation via our website:


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