'Extremely obese' owl released back into wild after being put on strict diet

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An “extremely obese” owl was released back into the wild late last month after she was put on a strict diet by a British sanctuary.

The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, on England’s east coast, said the owl was found in a ditch unable to fly after gorging herself on the abundance of field mice and voles available due to an especially warm winter in the area.

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The owl, dubbed Plump, weighed in at just over half a pound, about one-third more than most owls of her species and age, according to KARE-TV.

“This soggy little owl was found in a ditch a few weeks ago,” the sanctuary wrote on Facebook at the end of January. “Usually in these instances we assume injury of sorts that is preventing the owl from flying - occasionally becoming wet causes them to become grounded too - so you can imagine our surprise that when we examined her, we found her to simply be extremely obese!”

The sanctuary said cases of obesity in the wild are rare so they observed Plump to see if she had escaped from captivity, and decided they were “confident this may just be an unusual case of natural obesity! After further investigation, we also found that the area where she was rescued was crawling with field mice and voles due to the warm and wet winter we experienced in December.”

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The sanctuary posted Plump’s release in which she flew "gracefully off into the British countryside at a much healthier, and happier weight" on Facebook.