People Are Harassing Some Of Toronto's Owls & The Wildlife Centre Is 'Disheartened'

Toronto's Wildlife Centre says many reports are coming out of one park in the city.

Toronto Associate Editor
People Are Harassing Some Of Toronto's Owls & The Wildlife Centre Is 'Disheartened'

Wildlife officials are asking Torontonians to stop harassing the owls at Downsview Park.

The Toronto Wildlife Centre took to Facebook on Sunday morning to announce that they've gotten reports lately of Torontonians messing with the birds in order to see them up close or grab a good picture of them.

"We are incredibly disheartened by recent reports of wildlife harassment in our own backyard, Downsview Park," the wildlife centre wrote.

"Several owl sightings have been shared, drawing in curious onlookers who have been placing unnecessary stress on the birds."

Parkgoers have apparently been trying to lure the owls in with food, encroaching on the owls' space, using flash when snapping photos of the birds, and even throwing things at them to get their attention.

"It may not seem detrimental to awaken an owl one time, but consistent disturbances by dozens of people are extremely harmful to these nocturnal predators who sleep during the day," officials with the wildlife centre said.

"Just imagine paparazzi standing outside of your home every day and night!"

The use of flash photography on these birds apparently "flushes owls from the safety of their roost." The wildlife centre noted it as an issue because it puts these adorable critters at risk of getting preyed on since the owls are now wasting the energy that they need to survive during their waking hours.

While the city's wildlife centre recognizes that these birds have an "almost otherworldly appearance" that naturally draws passersby to look at them, officials ask Torontonians to please be respectful.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Alex Arsenych
Toronto Associate Editor
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