Vision

Our vision is to make people aware of what wonderful and interesting creatures owls are and in doing so, we hope to make this world a better and safer place, not only for owls, but for all animals.

In South Africa the majority of the local people still consider owls to be a bad omen, harbingers of death and doom and many owls are killed or injured because of this. Owls are also killed for “muti” (tribal medicine) purposes by “Sangoma's” (witchdoctors). If this web page can assist in changing these people’s attitude and help save the life of even one owl, then we would consider ourselves to have been successful in our mission.

We also hope that by bringing you this story, that people will realise that every animal, and every human being for that matter, deserve to live, but not only to live, but to be free. And for those people that have received a second chance in life, we hope that this story will inspire you to make the best of that chance and to give back unconditionally what you have received.

We also hope that this website and wonderful story will show people that animals, just like human beings, have feelings, that they love their young ones and their partners and that they will do everything to feed and protect them.

May this web page help to make the world a better place for God’s creatures?

chris@thecaringowl.co.za

“Blessed is the man that can, not only enjoy the beauty of God’s creation, but that can become part of it and help shape the future thereof.”

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Welcome to "The Caring Owl"          

We have launched this website to bring you the amazing story of a very special and truly magnificent African Spotted Eagle Owl called “Uiltjie” or maybe better known as “The Caring Owl”.

“Uiltjie” (Diminutive for “owl” in Afrikaans), as I call him, showed up on our farm one evening in April 2007. I know he actually deserves a more exotic name, but that is what I call him and that is what he answers to, so I am afraid he is stuck with it.

Although he was very cautious and timid in the beginning we soon realized that this owl did not know how to fend for himself and that he most probably had been raised by humans. “Uiltjie” began accepting food from us and soon became part of the family, showing up at ridiculous times of the night, not knowing that we were actually supposed to sleep at night.

Once I knew that “Uiltjie” has claimed and accepted our farm as his territory, the task of properly rehabilitating him began. I first had to teach him what his natural food (mice, rats and birds) was, and then how to hunt for it. Great was my joy when one evening I heard him hooting outside on the porch in front of my bedroom? This time he did not come begging for food, but had a huge rat dangling from his beak. When I approached him, he lay the rat down on the pillar and looked at me with almost a “smirk” on his face. The breeding season for spotted eagle owls has begun and this was his offering to me. He has chosen me as his mate, most probably for life, but to be quite honest; at that stage I accepted his offering with mixed feelings. Yes, I was overwhelmed with joy and pride that he accepted me as his mate, but I also knew that this meant that “Uiltjie” was imprinted on me and would most probably never have a normal “Owl life” and would most probably never accept a female owl as his mate and never have the joy of raising his own little owlets in a natural way.

Most people won’t understand it, but a magnificent bird like “Uiltjie” was never meant to be a “pet”, but to hunt freely in the wild, mate with a female owl, have chicks, hunt to feed them and even die fighting to raise and protect his “real owl” family. He might not live as long as when in captivity, but that is what owls are born to do and what they have done for a couple of million years, most probably some of the most proficient hunters ever to roam the earth.

That night there on the porch I silently took an oath that I would make it my mission in life to try and find a suitable female for him, though I knew that my mission was most probably doomed from the beginning. Now, almost six years later, I am still trying to get him to accept another female owl as his mate, but with no success so far. This doesn’t mean that I have not presented him with suitable females; no “Uiltjie” just had plans of his own. He did not only accept me as his partner, but also my wife and children. It became a regular sight to see him coming into the house with a rodent, or sometimes even a snake, dangling from his beak, looking for the nearest “victim” to coax into accepting his offering.

In my quest to find a suitable mate for “Uiltjie”, I began taking in injured and orphaned owlets, but “Uiltjie” took me as his mate and as most of you know, owls mate for life, so here I find myself, the wife of a Spotted Eagle Owl. As I spend most of my time at home in my workroom/study, “Uiltjie” began to see it as our nest and all injured birds and animals that I brought into this room, he saw as my children. And if it was my children and I fed them, then surely it was his duty as my husband to provide me and them with food.

This is how the two of us began rehabilitating injured and orphaned owlets. People began bringing injured or orphaned birds to me and I brought them into my “owl room” as I began calling it. Once they were in the “owl room” and “Uiltjie” saw me taking care of them, he joined the rescue mission by bringing them rodents that he caught outside. But it is not only Spotted Eagle Owls that “Uiltjie” adopted, no any injured bird or animal that I brought into that room would be accepted by him and fed with whatever he managed to catch during his hunting trips, if of course they were willing to be fed. He even tried feeding a Crowned Eagle that suffered from secondary poisoning, but because I was worried for his safety, I had to stop him from doing so.

It is now seven years later and I am still married to “Uiltjie”. During this period, as the “wife” of an owl, I think I learnt more about Spotted Eagle Owls than most people that study them for a living. With the help of “Uiltjie” the two of us have successfully raised and rehabilitated 28 orphaned Spotted Eagle Owlets as well as a lot of other injured birds. My relationship with him goes far beyond that of a human being with his pet, we are companions, soul mates, and have the deepest respect and understanding for each other. I began to understand how Spotted Eagle Owls think; how they are prepared to offer up their lives for their families and how they will even accept orphans into their families, treating them as their own. I also came to realize what remarkable creatures owls are, how keen their senses are and what remarkable hunters they are, most probably the best to ever roam this earth. But during this past couple of years I also came to realize how difficult, sometimes cruel, the life of an owl can be, how everything in nature actually revolves around “survival of the fittest”.

Our aim is to try and publish a chapter in the life of this remarkable owl every week on this website. We will also try and upload some of the remarkable video footage that we managed to capture during the past couple of years to YouTube and will provide links to these videos on this website.

So, if you find this story interesting, please feel free to join us every week for a new chapter in the remarkable life of “Uiltjie” the African Spotted Eagle Owl, better known as “The Caring Owl”. I can promise you that this is the most remarkable “Owl Story” that you have ever read or will ever read.

chris@thecaringowl.co.za


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