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Nov 17, 2010

Troy - the tawny owl 'afraid' of heights

Troy - the tawny owl 'afraid' of heights from Hawk Conservancy Trust

Troy – the tawny owl ‘afraid’ of heights The Hawk Conservancy Trust is a registered conservation charity and tourist attraction that enjoys over 50,000 visits per year.

The Trust has an active rehabilitation programme that includes, Hilary’s Birds of Prey Hospital, caring for over 200 sick or injured birds of prey every year. One of the birds brought to the hospital was a young Tawny Owl, named Troy. He had been found as an owlet in the wild by some well-meaning members of the public who thought he had been abandoned.

They took him home and, unfortunately, kept him for too long. By the time they brought him to the hospital for rehabilitation he had effectively been hand-reared and was far too tame to be released. It was decided to keep him at the Trust where he would become an ambassador for his species and join the flying demonstration team and educational outreach project, visiting schools and colleges.

However, during his training it soon become apparent that he would not fly higher than 5’10” – the height of his handler. Being hand reared had given him a human perspective on life and, quite simply, Troy had no concept that he was an owl. Only when his handler climbed into the trees would Troy fly up to him. We then wrote a press release about Troy and his aversion to heights, in order to warn people about the consequences of over handling wild owlets.

The press release was picked up by the national press and circulated on the world wide web – Troy became a bit of a media star and now has his own Facebook and Twitter page!

The Hawk Conservancy Trust

COMMENDATION received in BIAZA Awards 2011(small collection) for Best public relations project

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