Courtesy plainsightPlease, students, have a seat. Dinner will be served momentarily, but first I need your attention for a few words. Thank you.
Well well, my little wizketeers. You have been bad, very bad indeed.
I think you all know what it is I am referring to, but I will say it anyway: owl thievery is through the roof, and I’m inclined to think that many of you are nothing but stinking little owl thieves.
I know that some of you are from muggle families, and have only recently been introduced to the traditions of wizardry, but even you should know that owl stealing is one of the worst crimes of the wizarding world. Worse than sealing a goblin in an empty pumpkin juice cask and burying it in the woods. Do you understand?
Here: extend your right arm. Place your hand on the shoulder of the wizard or witch sitting to your right. Now remove your hand from their shoulder, and thrust your finger into their eye. Either eye will do. And, for those of you sitting at the extreme left of your row, I ask that you poke your own eyeballs as well.
How did you all like that? Well, that was nowhere near as bad as stealing an owl. Do you know who else was an owl thief? Voldemort. Also, Hitler. It was certainly the least of their crimes, but no one would disagree that it was indicative of their characters.
You see, owl populations have been shrinking on the Indian subcontinent. (And, for those of you who haven’t pursued geography outside of our more magic-based curriculum, India is a massive chunk of the Earth, which is the planet we live on.) India is tremendously rich in biodiversity, but its 30 or so species of native owls are disappearing thanks, in part, to the illegal sale of owls as pets.
Oh. Gosh. Where could those owls be going? What a mystery. Wait… By Godrick’s beard… Could they maybe, just maybe, be going to one place in the world you’re most likely to find spoiled children with pet owls, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?!
It’s not as if you even take care of them. Believe me, I’ve pulled enough dead owls out of the toilet traps in this school to know.
And what’s worse is that you’re encouraging others to buy owls as well. I can—and believe me, I will—personally hunt down and punish each owl-owning student in this school, but there’s little I can do about the legions of muggle children you are inspiring to buy owls. The most I can hope for is that they all catch salmonella from careless pellet handling. But that does the owls little good, and all the while Indian ecosystems are becoming weaker and unbalanced, because top predators are being eliminated. Without creatures like owls to keep them in check, rodent populations will boom. They, in turn, can over-consume the plant life of an ecosystem and outcompete other animals.
But then, what would you all understand of ecology. Most of you can barely handle basic sums. Such is the drawback of the narrow focus of our school.
So I will make it simple for you: if I catch any of you with an owl, you will be transferred to Slytherin House. Have you ever seen Syltherin? Those kids are the worst. I’ve been in the Slytherin common room once, and I got some sort of fungus there. And if you already live in Slytherin, owl possession will earn you room and board in the forest. Does that sound fun? It’s not. The forest is like the Jersey Shore for elves. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, at least remember this: always keep an eye on your drink.
Well. I think you all have got the message now. Remember: I’m only stern with you because I care so much for you. You little poachers.
Now let’s eat!
More than 50 metric tons of ivory were auctioned last week in South Africa as part of a one-time series of sales approved by a United Nations body. Critics say the sales could encourage poaching. Click this link to watch National Geographic video about this huge auction of elephant ivory.
Here's a report of a metro man facing a prison sentence after shooting a wolf in northern Minnesota while the animals were still catagorized as an endangered species.
Science Buzz readers had fun a couple weeks ago following the Great Turtle Race from Costa Rica to the Galapagos Islands. But here’s a sad swimming turtle story.
Authorities in Indonesia are offering a $500 reward for information about a satellite transmitter found in the coastal town of Krui in Sumatra. The transmitters were glued to the back of an Olive Ridley turtle that had been released into the South China Sea.
A total of 12 of the rare turtles were equipped with the transmitters to track their migration patterns. It’s believed that the turtle-less transmitter might belong to a turtle that was illegally captured by hunters.
Olive Ridley turtles can weigh up to 100 pounds
Satellite transmitters glued to the back of a turtle released into the South China Sea last year are beaming signals from an Indonesian coastal town — and scientists are offering $500 to anyone who can find them.
They believe the turtle — one of 12 released as part of an experiment to monitor their behavior — was illegally captured and killed for its meat. Still, scientists want to retrieve the devices to learn more about the threatened sea creatures.
The specific project raised turtles of several species in captivity and then released them into the wild. The transmitters have shown that most of the others have been adapting well.