Fla. men chronicle car trip ‘high and drunk’ with owl riding shotgun
(WSVN.COM) WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Wildlife officials and animal advocates are outraged after a video went viral on social media showing a driver with a federally protected bird.
The man in West Palm Beach even bragged about eating the rare owl. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators are now fearing for the animal’s safety.
“Wait, wait, wait, wait,” the man can be heard saying in the video.
A man from South Florida, believed to be the man cruising around with the federally-protected great horned owl, originally posted this status on his Facebook page: “3 am. in the morning we are drunk and we are high. We bout to take this thing home and eat it up, just found it on the road.”
“We chillin’ with an owl right now, and we vibin’,” said the man in the video.
The video, with almost 126,000 views, has Animal Care and Control and the FWC investigating. “In the video, you actually see them. They’re picking up some type of alcohol bottle, and they’re drinking, and you know, come on, let’s get real,” said David Hitzig of Busch Wildlife Sanctuary.
What the man in the video is doing to the owl is really upsetting to wildlife officials. “Having an animal like this in your possession is a felony,” said Hitzig.
Hitzig rescues birds like these, which, though not considered threatened or endangered, is protected. “Great horned owls, they’re incredible birds,” said Hitzig.
Hitzig is surprised the people in the car didn’t get mauled by the powerful bird, but he’s also worried about the owl. “To me, the concern is where’s the owl now? What happened to the owl? You know, did anybody cause harm to the owl?” he said.
A wildlife expert says even though the owl appears to be in a daze, it can be extremely dangerous.