by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals.

Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has a declining owl population on his hands — and he’s pointing his finger squarely at the Harry Potter franchise.

“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.

The films and book, like elsewhere around the world, have been a massive hit in the country — and parents have gone about capturing wild owls and presenting them as gifts to children. According to AFP, researchers also discovered that the birds were being traded or killed for the purpose of black magic rituals connected to the Hindu celebration of Diwali.

Diwali, a five-day festival of lights, begins on Nov. 5.

“Diwali should be a time for celebration across our nation, not one when our wildlife is plundered to feed ignorant superstition,” Ramesh added in comments.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • don miguelo

    Humans can be so selfish. Reminds me of Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka. Parents wanting to impress their kids so much that they start tearing owls from the wild, with no thought as to the harm that does to that population, or their safety of their own children.

    And what happens when an owl pecks a kid’s eye? They kill the owl. Wasn’t that owl a parent to its own kids before it was kidnapped? All the owl babies probably died from having no parent (or only 1 parent).

    I liked the Harry Potter series and all but this is just lame. And Diwali is a holiday that has no official part in animal sacrifice, I have no problem with that. However there is a ritualistic tradition of owl sacrifice and a parts trade, and that is unfortunate. This is something that may have been sustainable before mass population growth started cutting down their habitats, but not for long.

    We’ll have to see if people can change to do the right thing. I’m not holding my breath.

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