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Seletar owl rescued by Acres after flying the coop

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·2-min read
The fledgling buffy fish owl that was stranded. (PHOTO: Alex Low)
The fledgling buffy fish owl that was stranded. (PHOTO: Alex Low)

SINGAPORE — Bird enthusiasts at Hempstead Wetlands Park on Sunday (14 March) witnessed the moment a fledgling owl left its nest and crashed to the ground, with the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) later called in to rescue the distressed animal.

Bird enthusiast Alex Low was called to the scene by an acquaintance when the fledgling buffy fish owl, also known as the Malay fish owl, fell from its nest in the Seletar area.

The business consultant, who is in his 40s, told Yahoo News Singapore that the fledgling dropped to the ground in the late morning, then tried to learn to fly. Unfortunately, it was caught on some mesh during its journey. 

The buffy fish owl is native to Southeast Asia and lives mainly in tropical forests and wetlands. 

The fledgling buffy fish owl rescued and then released by Acres at Hampstead Wetland Park. (PHOTO: Acres)
The fledgling buffy fish owl rescued and then released by Acres at Hempstead Wetland Park. (PHOTO: Acres)

The Acres wildlife rescue were alerted at about 3.45pm.

Co-chief of Acres Kalai Vanan Balakrishnan said the entire rescue took some 45 minutes, with the team assessing that the juvenile bird was not injured before aiming to get the fledgling as high as possible so that it could be reunited with its parents.

A two-minute video posted by user MeiLin Khoo on Facebook group Birds, Insects n Creatures of Asia, captured Kalai attempting to return the fledgling to the higher branches of a tree by using a long telescopic pole, which came with attachments for different tasks.

Describing Hampstead as a "little paradise" for birds, Kalai noted that there are nevertheless buildings and roads nearby. There were also a few risks with the rescue process, including how the bird might might have flown off and crashed again.

And once the fledgling had been guided to a high branch, it was a "waiting game" for it to hop off and then be guided by its parents to safety. 

 The public should call the Acres wildlife rescue hotline at 97837782 if they see wild animals in distress.

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