Birds are usually rescued when they are injured but, in an unusual incident a cute little owl, named Plump, was rescued because she was “extremely obese” for flying.

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This soggy little owl was found in a ditch. Usually in these instances we assume injury that is preventing the owl from flying – occasionally becoming wet causes them to become grounded too – so you can imagine our surprise that when we examined her, we found her to simply be extremely obese! Upon weighing her, she was a rather chunky 245g (which is roughly a third heaver than a large healthy female little owl) and she was unable to fly effectively due to the fatty deposits. This is unusual for wild birds to get into this condition, so we needed to investigate some obvious scenarios – the first being that she was possibly an escaped aviary bird. Sadly there was no indication of rings or chip identification. We decided to observe the bird over a period of weeks for signs of a life in captivity. Familiarity with foods used in aviaries such as bright yellow chicks (which won’t often be found naturally in the English countryside) are a telltale sign. Luckily, there were no giveaway signs as she was readily taking more wild food types such as dark mice, so we are confident this may just be an unusual case of natural obesity! We also found that the area where she was rescued was crawling with field mice and voles due to the warm and wet winter we experienced in December. She has since spent a few weeks with us under observation and been placed on a strict diet. We can now happily say she has trimmed down to a more natural weight for release. . . . . . #suffolkowlsanctuary #owlsanctuary #animalsanctuary #suffolkwildlife #owl #buzzard #eagle #hawk #kestrel #meerkat #redsquirrel #conservation #wildlifeconservation #wildliferescue #animalrescue #birdsofprey #animalrehabilitation #suffolk #falconry

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According to officials from Suffolk Owl Sanctuary in England, she wasn’t able to fly due to “fatty deposits” and she weighed 245g (about a third heavier than a large healthy female little owl). 

Plump was put under observation for more than two weeks in the sanctuary, after which, they concluded that this was a case of natural obesity, which is rare and unheard of.

Finally, the researchers put this cutie on a “strict diet” which resulted in her slimming down to a more “natural weight for release”. 

Now, she is flying gracefully at a much healthier and happier weight. Watch the video of her release, into the wild, here: 

People on social media were also quite happy to here about cute little Plump and so, they bid her goodbye by wishing her all the best for her new adventures: 

Bye bye Plump!