So it’s Monday and it is my second day on my volunteer job in Thessaloniki. My previous post here.
Located at Micropolis, “Action for Wildlife” is a known organization that helps rehabilitate & care for injured wild animals of Northern Greece. It consists of hardworking and animal lover volunteers. And I intend to be a part of it. On my second day, I got introduced to Sophia. Every new volunteers should have training with her. She is a respectable veterinarian and when finally able to meet her, made my heart skipped. My friend has been telling me about how important it is to be taught by her in regards to the appropriate way of caring and feeding wild animals. I have to say, I learned new things from her; ones that I haven’t heard in documentaries. My friend also taught me important things. For the first time, I helped in preparing the food and hold the birds to aid her. To note, some of the animals I met last week were gone. They were sent back to their natural habitat. Isn’t this a good news? 🙂
The photo below was after we fed one of the baby owls. In the background, you can see 2 of the long-time workers in the organization. Sophia the vet, was doing a foot surgery on an injured hawk. I avoided taking photos but I witnessed something that I didn’t expect to see in person. It was exhilarating!
And BELOW is my favorite photo!
The baby owl above had his share of dinner, so while he waits for the other one to finish its meal, I took this quiet, graceful, and beautiful creature’s picture. It kept looking at me. It also happened that the newspaper caption says: “Ηow much is the Greek lost in the recession?”
A sad caption, I will have to admit…
I just remember, when Harry Potter movie became popular, there was a huge demand of owls in pet stores. People didn’t know that what J.K. Rowling had written as owls being good companions and messengers for people, is actually not right. But, it’s a fantasy story, anyone can write about anything. The thing is, readers get too carried away and forget to check real information about the true nature of these big-eyed feather fellow. In India, at least 30 species of owls were endangered because they were used in witchcraft rituals. This is the video:
Ancient Greek mythology tells of Goddess Athena, who after banishing the crows became infatuated with owls. They became her favorite feather creature. It was believed that a magical “inner light” gave the owls their night vision. In Greek armies, the symbol of the owl was used as sign of “victory.” It was also believed that if an owl lands on a soldier’s shoulder, victory is at hand. Athenian coins also have the Little Owl of Athena, supposed to keep an eye on the commercial state of the Athenians.
On a darker side, the Romans nailed dead owls at the door of a house to ward off evil. They also believed that the hoot of an owl carries a deadly message. They tie this belief to the deaths of prominent people like Julius Caesar and Augustus. Dreaming of an owl means shipwreck or robbed.
Back to ancient Greek mythology, Ascalpus who saw Persephone picking a pomegranate fruit in the kingdom of Hades, was turned into an owl for telling what he saw.
Practically, the English believed that a shrieking owl predicts the coming of a storm. During a bad weather, if it squeals, it meant a good weather is ahead. Though they also believed that nailing owls in their houses would ward off evil. What a tragic life for these slow and peaceful nocturnal birds. On a positive belief, in Northern England, they believe Owls are good luck when they see one.
NOW: You will be asking yourself if it is good to have an owl as a pet like Harry Potter and the rest of the people in Hogwarts do? Here’s my honest answer to you. NO – IT IS NOT GOOD TO HAVE OWLS AS PET. If you need further explanation, here’s a simple article. You have to consider the fact that unlike parrots and macaws who can be quite endearing and sociable – OWLS on the other hand are antisocial animals. If they don’t like being friendly with their co-feather birds, how much more with humans?
So think first before adopting wild birds as pets. Then search for organizations nearby you, for more information about them – before you go to a pet shop and spend your dime.
The lives of these creatures are in our hands. Let our hands create a better world for them. Shall we?
AFTER feeding the animals, we also cleaned their temporary box houses, which are done everyday by the way. We also had a weekly meeting. The organization will be in a summer festival and I would surely love to go and help out! 🙂
This is the view outside the building we were at. This was taken before the meeting started. Lovely Thessaloniki at night!
You can see a remnant of the French or Jewish Quarter. The house on the left it is!