Not to be the bearer of bad news, but sometimes a cute video isn't really so cute, with a little context. Just like others before it, this "baby" owl video is not everything it seems. It's not the first time we've seen this video -- but it has recently been passed around the internet, making us wonder what's really going on here.
We spoke to Carol McCorkle, director of the Avian Reconditioning Center, who weighed in on the video. According to McCorkle, there are a few issues with it -- including the fact that the owl is simply a pygmy owl, not a baby owl, as many outlets reported.
Even worse, McCorkle noted that, judging from the owl's behavior, the animal has likely imprinted on whoever is petting it -- something that can be very harmful to wildlife.
In the US we have laws that prohibit the imprinting of wildlife and personal ownership is prohibited. For those of us in authority that do raise raptors that have been orphaned we do EVERYTHING we can to avoid this type of thing. Of course, imprinting prevents the owl from ever being released.