Kings Park owl found dead, neighbours request an autopsy

The incident has increased residents’ desire to protect the greenspace

Kings Park owl found dead, neighbours request an autopsy

Saanich residents living near the Kings Park were shocked to come across a dead owl on Friday morning.

Rob Vanzella lives in the area and was concerned when a neighbour told him the owl’s body had been spotted during an early morning walk. He went out to look for it, expecting it to be in a tree. Instead, the brown bird was slumped on the ground.

Vanzella took the owl home so that it wouldn’t be scavenged before the cause of death could be determined. He was worried about rat poison, but noted it could have been old age or a fight with another owl that killed the bird.

READ ALSO: CRD parks board sends staff to gather options on funding Saanich’s Kings Park initiative

Residents have been rallying for over a year in an effort to have the 2.2 hectare lot between Kings Road and Haultain Street become a designated park in Saanich.

In January, the municipality bought the land – unofficially called Kings Park – from B.C. Hydro for $5.5 million. The District also announced that $2.75 million would need to be fundraised by August 2020 to offset the cost of the park as Saanich borrowed $4 million for the purchase.

Vanzella said this incident has reinfoced the neighbourhood’s desire to protect the park and turn it into a wildlife sanctuary. He also pointed out the need to raise awareness about the effects of rat poison on other wildlife.

The concerned neighbours have been in contact with the BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) and with the British Columbia Interagency Wild Bird Mortality and Seabird Bycatch reporting line to alert authorities about the deceased owl.

READ ALSO: Saanich officially owns ‘Kings Park’ but may not keep all of it in the future

Barred Owls are native to the area and are commonly spotted in Greater Victoria, explained Ashley Currie, Wild ARC staff member.

She pointed out that owls are frequently hit by cars in the region, but there are a variety of ways the Kings Road owl could have died.

The owl will be collected and brought to the Animal Health Centre lab in Abbotsford, explained Environment Canada biologist, Laurie Wilson. An autopsy exam will be conducted to on the owl to determine the cause of death. The results will be available about two weeks after the tests are conducted.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The dead owl’s talons were bloody, but only an autopsy can determine if that’s related to the death. (Photo couresty Rob Vanzella)

The dead owl’s talons were bloody, but only an autopsy can determine if that’s related to the death. (Photo couresty Rob Vanzella)

Just Posted

GIF
’90s rock band resurfaces with songs never properly recorded or released

Underwater Sunshine’s online reunion involves four guys who lost contact for years

Tim Siebert, one half of the partnership behind Citrus & Cane, says opening the Douglas Street cocktail lounge during a pandemic had challenges, but the bar is ready to adapt to whatever comes next. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
New Victoria tropical cocktail lounge designed with COVID-19 safety in mind

Citrus & Cane opens in site of former Copper Owl after eight-month delay

Kennedy Nikel, applied marine biologist at Cascadia Seaweed, here seen in late September, shows off bull kelp (in her left hand) and rock weed. The company is spear-heading an annual seaweed festival scheduled for May 13-21, 2021, with Sidney council have signed off in principle. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Cascadia hopes to see Sidney host seaweed festival in May 2021

Council supports the idea in principle following a presentation by Cascadia Seaweed

Trevor Davis, base manager of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation in Sidney, stands in front of the Hecate Sentinal, an oil skimming vessel based at Sidney’s Van Isle Marina. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Oil spill response base taking shape on Saanich Peninsula

Enhanced base with elements in North Saanich and Sidney to be fully operational in fall 2022

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read