Tiny Owl Stowaway Booted From Luxury Ocean Liner

Original image from Wikipedia Commons

A life at sea proved not to be in the cards for a tiny burrowing owl that had made its home on one of the world's most luxurious cruise ships. The protected bird was found to have moved into the ship's artificial golf course while it was docked in Port Everglades, Florida. Alerted to the stowaway, the local Fish and Wildlife Commission was brought in to move the bird back to solid ground -- but the owl was apparently none too happy to get the boot. According to the Miami Herald, the Florida burrowing owl didn't just pick any ship when deciding to find a new home, but opted to take up residence on the world's largest luxury cruise ship, the "Oasis of the Seas." The behemoth ocean liner features a mini-golf course on its upper deck -- and that's just where the tiny owl was found to be living.

Not wanting to take the stowaway out to sea, ship officials delayed pulling anchor until authorities could come remove the bird. But when they were finally brought in, the owl didn't seem to appreciate the eviction notice.

"[These owls are] very territorial, and she was making it clear `this is my territory,'" said Lt. Dave Bingham, who was brought in to remove the bird.

After eluding capture for nearly a half-hour, the agent from the Fish and Wildlife Commission managed to catch the bird in a butterfly net. Afterwards, Bingham headed 15 miles inland to a large park where he released the owl -- but not without getting a few angry looks from the booted bird.

"When I let him go she turned around and looked at me with this death stare,'' Bingham told the Herald. "I don't know if she was trying to say `I'm going to eat you' or `thanks for taking away my chances of staying on that cruise.'"

While it may be kind of cute that this tiny owl would try to make a home on a cruise ship of all places, human encroachment into its natural habitat is likely the reason it ended up vying to live in such an unnatural spot. Either that, or she was looking for a little R&R.;

Photos via the Miami Herald
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Tags: Birds | Boats | Florida | Tourism

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