A South African who saved an Owl, is challenging the stigma around the nocturnal birds of prey.

A South African who saved an Owl is challenging the stigma around the nocturnal birds of prey.


A South African farm worker found a distressed Owl on a busy road and despite what he had been taught about the birds of prey, decided to help the innocent creature.

“I am scared of certain animals but that doesn’t mean those animals are not entitled to life,” Gift, the farm worker explained.

In general, owls are viewed as omens of bad luck, ill health, or death. The belief is widespread even today. Among the Kikuyu of Kenya it was believed that owls were harbingers of death. If one saw an owl or heard its hoot, someone was going to die. The Swahili people of East Africa believe owls bring illness to children, while the Zulu people of South Africa know the owl as the witchdoctors’ bird.

Unfounded superstitions such as these threaten the existence of these silent nocturnal hunters. The myths are enforced by horror films and Halloween decorations in which they are linked to haunting night themes and portrayed as symbols of magic and witchcraft or harbingers of death and destruction.

Even their physical appearance can be frightening to the uninformed – children are often afraid of their wide staring eyes and the tufts of feathers which give them the appearance of horned devils.

A South African who saved an Owl, is challenging the stigma around the nocturnal birds of prey.

The Owl Rescue Centre was made aware of the Baby Cape Eared Owl’s rescue after Gift found them on Google.

“Gift, the gentleman in the photo rescued him from a busy road and took him home. He then googled what owls eat and fed him accordingly for the last 5 days until he found our details,” the Owl Rescue Centre’s Facebook post pointed out.

The farm was over 200 kilometres away from the Owl Rescue Centre and the other farm workers told the team that they believed Gift was “mad” for saving the bird of prey but Gift just wanted to give the Owl a chance at surviving.

The team thanked the farm worker for all he did to save the bird, and on the way back to the Rescue Centre decided to name the Owl Gift in honour of  the hero.

For more information about the incredible Owl Rescue Centre, click here.

Sources: Owl Rescue Centre | National Zoological Gardens of South Africa 
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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