The organisation that leaked a story to the media about residents of the Alexandria township decapitating owls has admitted that it has no proof of the incidents. It also hasnâ??t got any evidence of the story that an owlâ??s legs were cut off with a pair of scissors by superstitious residents.
EcoSolutions disputes the claims
This is according to an interview on ANN7 with environmentalist, Jonathan Haw. Hawâ??s organisation, EcoSolutions Urban Ecology, is managing the Township Owl Box Project together with the City of Johannesburg in an effort to control the areaâ??s rodent populations.
Haw said that a number of animal rights organisations have tried to find evidence of the owl abuse allegations, and have contacted the SPCA as well as the various schools in the Alex area to try to substantiate the claims.
Education programmes are in place for the residents
â??There are no facts or proof of these incidents,â? Haw told ANN7. He noted that mythology and superstitions do still exist, but the release programme includes a massive education element. â??The kids in Alex arenâ??t interested in mythology. They donâ??t believe in it. They believe in Mxit and Twitter, and are educating their parents about the owls.â?
The Sandton SPCA which operates in the Alexandria area released a statement confirming that they have had no reports of owls being abused or beaten:
â??Quite contrarily, we have received owls from concerned members of the Alexandra community when they are injured or have been hurt. The owl project is reinforced with a strong education programme that runs in tandem with our own education programme in the Alexandra community on domestic animal and wildlife care. We work closely with FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre to ensure that any owls received here are immediately transported to their specialised facility for treatment.â?
The City of Johannesburg confirmed that it had not received any information about decapitated owls. It has committed to changing cultural beliefs in townships and using owls as a means to control the rodent population in the city.
Take a look at the video below to learn more about the Township Owl Box Project: