A warning of the dangers to wildlife of leaving cooking oil outside has been brought distressingly into the spotlight by the sight of dying barn owl.

This video was filmed at the Gwel an Mor resort in Portreath by wildlife ranger Gary Zammit.

It was after a runner discovered the barn owl lagged in oil, in Green Lane, Portreath, and brought it to Gary.

In the video Gary describes the owl’s chances of survival as “zero” – a point then proven halfway through as the owl gives up the battle and dies in his hands.

Gary said: “Someone, somewhere has a large container – at least washing up bowl sized – outside or in a shed where the barn owl can get in. This poor thing was trying to bath in it.”

The oil clags up the bird’s feathers, leaving it unable to keep warm or fly properly.

“All that, just because somebody didn’t think and they have got this oil lying around,” he said.

He urged everyone in Portreath to think about whether they had oil left outside and to get rid of it properly.

Gary added: “What a tragic end to such a beautiful bird.”

Barn owls number in UK have dropped to as low as between 3,000 and 5,000 pairs.

“Now we’re one less,” he said.


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