With thanks to The Protego Foundation, a Wizarding World inspired animal rights group, Warner Bros "confirmed that Universal Parks & Resorts (home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter) and all future officially licensed Harry Potter live shows will no longer be using live owls."
Statement from Tylor Starr, president and founder of the foundation: "“We learn in the Harry Potter series that owls are sensitive and remarkably intelligent birds who should be treated with kindness and respect. They shouldn’t be subjected to loud music, large crowds, and flashing lights. The Protego Foundation is so thankful to Warner Bros. and the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team for honoring Hedwig, Errol, and other beloved owls by implementing such a kind policy to help other sensitive owls like them.”
This commitment from Warner Bros. will ensure that live owls are not used in any licensed productions going forward, including experiences within the Wizarding World of Harry Potter locations around the world.— Protego Foundation (@ProtegoFDN) March 11, 2021
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This isn't the first victory for the foundation; previously, Warner Bros stopped using live owls tied to pedestals for photo opportunities at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Osaka after images appeared on social media condemning the use:
@jk_rowling Could something be done about the live owls who are being featured at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Japan? Just like being kept as pets, owls shouldn't be subjected to crowds, loud music, and flashing lights.— Protego Foundation (@ProtegoFDN) January 15, 2018
Look at this sad, chained owl there. pic.twitter.com/GNOWPgblQo
In 2016, Warner Bros stopped using live owls during productions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. There had been an incident where an owl was endangered after flying into the auditorium. After this, Warner Bros reportedly began using bird props.
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Some uplifting news for your Monday blues!