Harry Potter triggers illegal trade in owls

NEW DELHI: Fascinated by Harry Potter’s ‘Hedwig’ owl from the famous movie and novel series, urban middle class parents are gifting their kids with the real bird which is one of the main reasons for its dwindling population, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has said.

“Following Harry Potter (film), there seems to be a strange fascination even among the urban middle classes for presenting their children with owls,” Ramesh said yesterday after releasing a report on the illegal trade of the bird prepared by Traffic, an NGO working to curb the illegal trade of the endangered species.

This encourages illegal wildlife trade as due to pressure from their kids, the parents approach illegal traders in wildlife products to buy owls, he said requesting the parents to abandon these practices that threaten the country’s wildlife.

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