The Caring Owl

About 4 years ago on a farm in South Africa a woman made friends with a spotted eagle owl that showed up on their farm unexpectantly. When the owl became injured it was kept it inside the house for a couple of months until it was well again. During that time one of their old cats found out that no other cats were allowed in the study where the owl was kept while recuperating and she moved in. They allowed this because the cat has never in her life caught a bird or mouse and was not interested in the owl at all.

During this period the owl got used to her and they regularly ate steak that was hand fed to them together. Once the owl was ok again it was let out, but it still comes and sleeps inside during the day, going back out and hunting freely at night. Currently they have another injured owl that he has adopted and feeds regularly with about 2 rats an evening.

Recently the woman was working late in her study one night when the owl came in with a rat. She presumed that he were going to feed it to the injured owl, but much to her surprise he flew towards the cat that was sitting on the sofa and tried offering the rat to her. Fortunately she was lucky enough to be able to take a couple of pictures of the whole incident.

The woman could only find one other instance where an owl befriended a cat, but could nowhere find a picture or anything about an owl bringing a mouse or rat to a cat. Unfortunately for the owl, the cat just sniffed at the rat as she has never eaten something like that before. The owl is however aggressive towards all other cats and will even swoop down and attack them if they come to close to his nesting box in the tree. He however accepts this cat even near his nesting box.

The owl also made friends with an injured crow for about 3 days until the crow got better and started making a terrible nuisance of himself. The crow was released after about 3 months and hooked up with another crow on the farm and is now living freely also.

What makes this owl so interesting is that it is free to come and go as it pleases and lives as close to a natural life as possible. The woman has in no way tried to train him and everything that he does comes natural. She is not in favor of keeping birds, or any other animal for that matter, caged up and releases all injured birds if at all possible.

Responses to "A rehabilitated owl returns the favor by caring for other animals (Photos)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Its Called imprinting, Owls who are raised by humans are famous for it.

  2. Taimi Pimentola-Heikkinen says:

    There are stories that are 'larger than life'. This is one of them! <3

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is so unbelievably precious! I love animals:)))

  4. Anonymous says:

    It is no secret that cats will, on occasion, bring "gifts" of rodents or birds to their human family. Mine have done this many times, but I had never heard of an owl doing this. I live on a farm in South America. A couple of years ago we found a fledgling owl with a slightly injured wing and tried to feed it, but it refused our offerings. Apparently its parents fed it during the night. Within a couple of days, it was gone, though we could hear it calling its parents in the trees.
    As an aside, I also had a cat identical to the one in this story. She disappeared a year ago this month. We suspect our neighbor's dogs got her, poor thing! - Kathy Niell, Uruguay

  5. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful story. I have only recently joined White Wolf on facebook and am very much enjoying reading the various animal stories. Thanks. Christine (from Australia)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Neat story, I do believe some animals of different species can befriend one another, If certain things are right. Thanks for sharing. :)

  7. Unknown says:

    What a better WORLD if we REALLY behaved like ANIMALS!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Oh my. I love this. The only thing I would not love would be to wake up with an owl holding a rat real near my face while I was sleeping. That about cracked me up. It is so beautiful how the cat and the owl befriended one another and the owl has "returned the favor" of helping other animals.

  9. Anonymous says:

    just a quick comment about inprinting this is normally something that happens when a bird is hatched from an egg , because the bird sees its human as a parent it excepts you as its a kind of trust bond . however for a wild bird to show this is most strange but not unheared of . great story . daz uk

  10. Anonymous says:

    That owl very well might not be imprinted, and the proper term is malimprinted. I work at a raptor center where a Barred Owl chooses to live all on its own after rehab treatment. She was an established adult owl when she came in and released weeks later. She came back and took up residence in her recovery chamber and refuses to leave.

    I just give her the two mice she demands a day and just leave her be. When she feels like more mice she will jump into the mouse bucket and snag another one.

  11. CLM says:

    What an awesome story! I love the pictures! I have a cat who brings me "presents" and drops them right at my feet. So far, I've received a salamander, a couple of birds, and a frog. One of the other cats likes to bring in baby snakes! I certainly don't want the caught creatures(most of them have been alive when presented) in the house, but I "appreciate" the gesture and intention behind the gift. Animals, whether pets or wild, add so much to our lives. Thanks for sharing this story!

  12. Lara says:

    sooo cute

  13. Anonymous says:

    I love this story and the cat looks exactally like mine!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Lovely real life story.......

  15. Anonymous says:

    What a joyful story of love, I wish our species could learn from this. My cats don't bring me presents but their unconditional love is always a blessing! I wish our kids could hear more stories like this. Nature is the best teacher.

  16. Unknown says:

    I wish I have allllll of them

  17. Anonymous says:

    Silly humans. Cats aren't offering you a "gift", they are trying to teach you to hunt because they think you are too stupid to feed yourselves. Wishing humans acting more like animals? You mean like the lions and other predators that chase down and kill the young and sick, or how just about everything they do is self centered and without regard for anyone else? I think we already do this. It can be a fatal mistake to impose human emotions and motives on animal behavior. They don't think like us, and even when their actions seem to mimic ours, their motives may be completely different. I DO love animals, and find the random acts of "kindness" beautiful, but let's not get carried away here.

  18. Love love love.....

  19. Unknown says:

    all the gold in the world could not bring more joy

  20. I sav a nature program in tv 2 days ago on sunday the 25 of october 2015. There were a tiger, a bear and a tiger that where friends for life. A dog and a deer who came back to the dog every year even though it had born 4-5 caws her self. A cat that took 4 newcome ducks that had lost their own mother into her warm body. And the most surprising thing for me was when the duckies ;-) also drink milk from their cat-mother. I`m just so sad to see how evil we humans are to each other. How we destroy our earth slowly. I was on Greenland working there 4 month. That is a place on our earth that really hurts me seeing the inland-ice starting to melt down more and more. The ice-bears is really on the way out of their normal habitat cause the ice is melting down so fast. So like the tigers from Sumatra where there only is 500 left in nature we soon, and i am really afraid that these 2 big animals are dieing out while im still alive

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