Indonesian village gives owls their jobs back

The local government has supported the program by putting into place a law that bans shooting or disturbing birds in the area. (Shutterstock)
Updated 11 October 2017

Indonesian village gives owls their jobs back

TLOGOWERU:The owls of Tlogoweru have their jobs back.
Six years ago farmers in this small Indonesian village were fighting a losing battle against rats and other pests ravaging their crops.
They tried smoking out the pests, but it failed. Hunting them was also impractical. The villagers also wanted to avoid using pesticides for fear of damaging their crops.
Pujo Arto had an idea. Bring back a natural predator — the barn owl.
Since then, the farmer-turned-breeder has raised nearly 2,000 owls through his Natural Predator Program and released them into the wild to combat pests.
“We fostered awareness within our community by building homes for these owls, while government officials helped in implementing laws,” said Arto, 50.
Common barn owls, due to their size and diet, were most suited for the job, Arto said.
In the wild, a barn owl will lay between three and 12 eggs, but not many nestlings survive. Arto brings the eggs back to the facility to increase the survival rate, releasing the birds back into the wild when they are four months old.
So far, Arto has set up 140 nesting boxes in the village for the owls to lay their eggs, the houses standing tall on posts amidst the green fields of corn.
Deforested land used for agriculture reduces locations for nesting, so the boxes provide the birds with an incentive to stay and thrive.
The local government has supported Arto’s program by putting into place a law that bans shooting or disturbing birds in the area.
Thanks to Arto’s initiative, Tlogoweru village has now become a popular destination for people looking to learn about the importance of maintaining a balanced ecosystem in nature.


Black leopard mauls man who paid to have pictures taken

Updated 30 October 2020

Black leopard mauls man who paid to have pictures taken

DAVIE, Florida: A man was mauled by a captive black leopard in a backyard zoo in South Florida, wildlife officials said.
The man paid $150 for a “full contact experience” with the black leopard, which allowed him to play with it and take pictures, WPLG reported.
A report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the incident happened Aug. 31 in Davie, which is near Fort Lauderdale.
The agency charged the owner with allowing full contact with an extremely dangerous animal and was cited for maintaining captive wildlife in an unsafe condition.
The owner runs a licensed animal sanctuary for rare and endangered animals at the home, WPLG reported.
The man was attacked as soon as he entered the leopard’s enclosure. The injuries were so severe that his scalp was “hanging from his head and his right ear was torn in half,” the report said.
He required multiple surgeries, according to the TV station.