The same trainer tells the crowd how he obtained one of the exhibit owls for around $20 when the bird was just 2 days old. "He was going crazy in the box," he says. "He still had eggshells on him."
In a post, PETA said that the owls were "clearly distressed" and that the trainer displayed "gross negligence."
Warner Bros. clarified that the birds visited the studio only for "short periods" and are handled exclusively by experts, according to the BBC. Both Warner Bros. and the company that owns the birds, the California-based Birds and Animals, have announced they will review their practices and that the welfare of the birds is their top priority.
Warner Bros. studio tour representatives did not immediately respond to The Dodo's request for comment.
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling herself has criticized keeping owls captive, writing on an early version of her website that she never intended to influence people to keep the birds as pets:
"If it is true that anybody has been influenced by my books to think that an owl would be happiest shut in a small cage and kept in a house, I would like to take this opportunity to say as forcefully as I can: please don't."
However, in the years following the Harry Potter books' releases, wildlife rescues noted an increased interest in owls and saw a huge surge in the number of abandoned owls, as fans obtained the wild raptors as pets and quickly dumped them when the novelty wore off.