S'pore dragon boaters rescue lone floating owl in Marina Channel with plastic scoop


Mandy How | May 03, 2022, 01:30 PM

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A lone owl floating in Marina Channel was rescued by dragon boaters, who came across it while doing the sport.

The rescue, uploaded to TikTok by a user who wanted to be known as Tan, saw the barn owl being scooped up by a plastic contraption.

It took a number of attempts before the bird successfully made it onto the boat, as it had tried flapping its wings in a bid to get away.

When it was finally tipped over onto dry terrain, the owl stood there looking soaked and bedraggled.

In response to a commenter, Tan said that they used a scoop, instead of their hands, as they were unsure if the bird would bite them.

Another user pointed out the owl's sharp talons, which could severely injure its rescuer even if it was only grabbing for stability.

Tan later updated in the comments section that they handed it over to the staff at the Water Sports Centre, who placed it in a box to dry.

Replying to queries from Mothership, the dragon boater from the Ang Mo Kio-Hougang Trident team added that the centre later called ACRES (Animal Concerns Research and Education Society), and the owl will be assessed for its condition before release.

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Owls not made for swimming

While owls are technically able to swim, it's usually the last resort for them as they are defenceless in the water, ornithologist Matthew Zwiernik told National Geographic.

Barn owl feathers are also not waterproof, as the species has given up the use of preen oil or powder dust in favour of a silent flight for hunting.

In past videos where owls have been spotted swimming, it's likely that they have fallen out of their nest, failed a test flight, or are trying to escape a predator.

Top image via TikTok