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Harry Potter threatening India’s owls?

A decline in India’s owl population is linked to the success of the Harry Potter films, Jairam Ramesh, the country’s minister for the environment, has claimed.

Harry potter and his owl

Jairam Ramesh has said that “Following Harry Potter, there seems to be strange fascination even among the urban middle classes for presenting their children with owls”.

In J. K. Rowling’s world-famous books, the wizard hero receives his own pet owl, called Hedwig, as a present for his eleventh birthday. Hedwig features throughout the series as Harry’s loyal companion and, like all the other owls in Rowling’s magical world, is enlisted to deliver messages and parcels between characters.

Mr Ramesh’s comments follow a report by the organisation Traffic, which monitors global trade in wildlife, stating alternatively that the declining population can be blamed on their role in traditional rituals.

Traffic’s report proposes that owls are being captured and slaughtered for these ceremonies, while the minister has suggested they are being delivered to middle class children as birthday presents.

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