You may have heard of the Little Owls rescued from the Glastonbury Festival. The first one was found during the preparation for the event underneath the Pyramid Stage. This was taken to West Hatch RSPCA but was transferred to us at Secret World. Literally when Guns N Roses were playing to the enormous crowd, one of the crew saw the second owlet under the stage. It was put into a cardboard box and one of our Response Drivers went out to collect it the next day. The stage is a permanent fixture, and the parents must have thought it was a very suitable, dry place to nest. They would have been unable to get to the owlets once all the equipment was moved in, so the youngsters were very lucky to have been seen before they starved.
With the association with Guns N Roses, the two owlets were named Axl and Slash after group members. (I’m not sure whether the owlets’ mother would approve of the names!) This became a popular story with interviews with Radio 2, the Independent, the Telegraph and even a radio station in Canada. A third owlet joined us from another location so the trio were eventually together in one of our aviaries. Their bushy eyebrows make them look rather comical as well as being very amusing in their stance.
It surprises me that more wildlife isn’t affected by these festivals which suddenly change from quiet fields to noisy, busy festivals but they seem to adapt. My first thought when I see the fireworks in London on New Years Eve is for the poor pigeons that have roosted for the night with no idea of what is about to happen! I’m pleased to say that the owlets have gone to their new release site and were in their temporary aviary for a few days to get used their new surroundings. Now released, they are still being seen and would certainly have a tale to tell of all the celebrities that they saw in their short time at the Glastonbury Festival.
From September onwards, our orphans have grown into juveniles, now old enough to look after themselves. This is when we take them to their new release sites. Once they have gone, it is time to renovate and mend enclosures and aviaries ready for next year. If you would like to help our maintenance team during the winter let us know. Free coffee and tea and banter!
For advice call 01278 783250 for any wildlife problems.
Pauline Kidner 4th August 2023