Five owls died of poisoning over six months in B.C. (Yutaka Seki/Flickr)

Twice as many owls dying from rat poison: B.C. government

Delta’s raptor care centre says the owls are eating poisoned mice and rats

The number of owls dying of poisoning in B.C. more than doubled over a six-month period, according to the agriculture ministry.

Five of the owls that were necropsied from October to January had likely fatal traces of rat poison, the province told Black Press Media, compared to just two between June 2016 and July 2017.

Two owls died of poisoning in North Vancouver, while one was in Stanley Park and two were in Greater Victoria.

A sixth owl, not submitted to the ministry, died of poisoning in South Surrey in December.

Caitlin Folvik, a raptor care assistant at Delta’s Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society, said the facility has seen a spike in non-fatal poisonings too.

Folvik points to the uptick in development around Metro Vancouver, as mice and rats in clearcuts rush to find shelter in the bushes and trees on people’s properties.

READ: More barred owls sightings in Vancouver bad news for rats and mice

Residents leave out poison to take care of the pests, but Folvik said rats don’t die right away after consuming the poison.

“They start to act kind of drunk and are easier for the owls to pick off.”

Other ways to get prevent a rat infestation include blocking any holes they might use to get into your house, and then if they do, to use snap traps or electric traps.

“There’s some people who use a bucket with a dowel and then the bucket falls and traps the mouse,” Folvik added.

“Coyote or fox urine can act as a deterrent too and people can buy that at hunting and game stores.”

Poisoned owls can often be saved, Folvik said. If you see one acting strangely, call the society’s 24/7 raptor rescue line at 604-946-3171.

“Lots of times, they end up getting themselves in trees and the look very sleepy and kind of dopey,” she said. “They act like they’re drunk, they wobble. Or you’ll find them drinking lots and lots of water.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

MISSING: Surrey police searching for 71-year-old woman

Patricia Seddon was last seen at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday in the 9200 block of 121 Street

Helping the helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Completion date for Alex Fraser Bridge improvements pushed to 2019

New traffic lights at Nordel Way and Highway 91 mark the end of phase one of the project

SFN leadership invited to two White Rock summer events

First Nations invitation required for Canada Day, Baldwin says concerts series invite to avoid ‘foofaraw’

From Nairobi to Surrey, mothers form friendship after one is forced to leave a baby behind

Surrey family featured in ‘My Heart in Kenya’ documentary film shown here Wednesday

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Murdered BC woman’s final words, ‘I love you, Mom’

It took 10 years, but Lisa Dudley’s mother finally found out what her daughter said before she passed

Quarter of seafood sold in Metro Vancouver is mislabelled: researchers

Intentional mislabelling can mask concerns about sustainability or human rights

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Remains of two people found on Vancouver Island

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to two missing men, last seen in Ucluelet in mid-May

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Reena Virk’s mother has died

Both of Virk’s parents became activists against bullying in wake of daughter’s death

Most Read