Owls, Huskies At Risk Thanks To Harry Potter & Game Of Thrones
Due to the popularity of certain books, movies and tv shows like Game of Thrones and Harry Potter, certain animals are in danger by people adopting them.
It started with wild owls in Asia. Since the first Harry Potter movie was released back in 2001, families have been bringing pet owls into their homes to try and recreate the magic and friendship between Harry and Hedwig. Sadly that is not the case. The illegal owl trade has been on the rise as the demand for pet owls has gone up. In Indonesia, pet owls run about $10-$30 and the bird market went from about a few hundred to more than 13,000 available in 2016. New research has shown a correlation between the popularity of Harry Potter and a rise in the illegal trade of owls. This has many concerned because many people who get owls as pets don't know how to take care of them. People get them because they're cute and the animals suffer from being forced to become domesticated when they were wild animals. Author J.K. Rowling has spoken out before saying owls don't make good pets:
"If anybody has been influenced by my books to think an owl would be happiest shut in a small cage and kept in a house, I would like to take this opportunity to say as forcefully as I can: You are wrong."
A similar situation has affected a particular breed of dog thanks to the popularity of the wildly successful Game of Thrones series. In the bay area, television stations spoke to animal rescues who have said they have seen a rise in Siberian Huskies being abandoned after being adopted because they look like direwolves. In one of the articles one of the dogs being rescued was named Stark, after a family with close connection to direwolves in the Game of Thrones series. One rescue said they say 45 huskies abandoned in the area in one month alone. Another shelter said they have seen a 300% jump in huskies in their shelter.
To try and deal with the problem, Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage partnered with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) asked fans to think twice before going out and purchasing a huskie:
"Please, to all of Game of Thrones' many wonderful fans, we understand that due to the direwolves' huge popularity, many folks are going out and buying Huskies. Not only does this hurt all the deserving homeless dogs waiting for a chance at a good home in shelters, but shelters are also reporting that many of these huskies are being abandoned — as often happens when dogs are bought on impulse, without understanding their needs. Please, please, if you're going to bring a dog into your family, make sure that you're prepared for such a tremendous responsibility and remember to always, ALWAYS, adopt from a shelter."