A Coldstream resident who found an owl struggling on her property in March 2021 is now spreading awareness of about the knock-on effects of rodent poisoning. (Kathy Renaud photo)

A Coldstream resident who found an owl struggling on her property in March 2021 is now spreading awareness of about the knock-on effects of rodent poisoning. (Kathy Renaud photo)

Okanagan owl ‘fighting for her life’ after ingesting rat poison

Coldstream resident warns against the use of rodenticide due to risk of secondary poisoning in raptors

A Coldstream resident is spreading awareness after a struggling owl resting on her property was found to have suffered secondary rat poisoning.

Kathy Renaud, who lives in the Coldstream/Lavington area, said she took the owl to the South Okanagan Raptor Rehabilitation Centre in Oliver in a Facebook post Thursday.

“After finding this beautiful owl on our property this weekend it was obvious that she was having issues.”

Renaud said she was able to get a volunteer at the rescue centre to pick up the ailing raptor. When speaking to staff yesterday, she was told the female owl was “fighting for her life” after showing signs of secondary poisoning.

“In other words, she ate a rodent that had been poisoned,” she said. “I am thankful that my cat and dog did not come across the rodent as I am sure they would have eaten it.”

On Saturday, Renaud told the Morning Star she just received word from the centre that the owl is still alive and on medication, but is partially blind and is not eating on her own.

“They are hopeful for her recovery, but it could take several months of care.”

READ MORE: B.C. conservation officer who refused to kill 2 bear cubs still fighting to return to work

Centre staff asked Renaud to try putting the owl in a tree, “but she would not stand up and flew back to the ground.”

The volunteer agreed to take her to Oliver.

Renaud turned to social media to spread awareness about the incident, and her post garnered a wide response from residents with more than 140 shares and 250 reactions since March 4.

One commenter shared an online petition, sponsored by Rodenticide Free BC on the Action Network, which has collected roughly 1,900 signatures of its goal of 5,000 to urge the ministry of environment to ban rodenticides as a means of pest control.

“These products are inhumane, pose serious threats to animals including family pets and wildlife species, the environment, and to human health, while at the same time failing to control rodent populations over the long-term,” the petition states.

“Owls and other raptors are at a particularly high risk of secondary poisoning because of their dependence on rodents as a food source,” the petition continues, citing statistics from a 2009 study which found that 70 per cent of dead owls in B.C. had traces of at least one rat poison in their system.

“The increased poisoning of barn owls is of particular concern because of their status as threatened under Schedule 3 of the federal Species at Risk Act.”

READ MORE: Cow moose rescued from frozen pond near Williams Lake


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

ConservationWildlife

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

Just Posted

West Kelowna firefighters practice swiftwater rescue techniques in the Shuswap River in Cherryville April 20. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
West Kelowna firefighters make a splash in North Okanagan

Swift water rescue training brings team to Cherryville’s Shuswap River

B.C.’s public health restrictions on non-essential travel are reinforced by orders effective April 23, 2021 to stay within your own regional health authority except for essential travel such as work and medical appointmens. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

Checks on highways, ferries between Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Interior

(Photo: pixabay.com)
Morning Start: Nearly 1 billion tonnes of food was wasted in 2019

Your morning start for Friday, April 23, 2021

Kimberley case counts not at the point for 18 years and older community vaccination, says Interior Health. (File photo)
Many factors considered for smaller community-wide vaccination: Interior Health

East Kootenay resort town’s COVID-19 situation not at the point of community-wide vaccination, say officials

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A plan flew over the Lower Mainland with a sign expressing some Canucks fans’ discontent with the team’s general manager. (Niqhil Velji - Twitter Screenshot)
#FireBenning movement gets off the ground in Metro Vancouver

Canucks fans raise enough money to fly banner over Metro Vancouver asking for team GM to be canned

The freed osprey keeps a wary eye on its rescuers after being deposited on its nest. (Photo credit: Greg Hiltz)
Hydro crew in Ashcroft gets osprey rescue call-out they won’t soon forget

Bird was tangled in baling wire hanging from a hydro pole, necessitating a tricky rescue

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth speaks to media at the Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday February 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to announce travel restrictions today to limit COVID-19 spread

Mike Farnworth is expected to give details of what the government views as essential travel

Richard Desautel with supporters outside the courthouse in Nelson, B.C., in 2016. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
UPDATED: Sinixt, First Nation bordering Canada-U.S., can claim Indigenous rights, top court rules

The decision essentially reverses a 1956 declaration the Sinixt were extinct

BC Wildfire Service
Small wildfire ignites in the Shuswap

The blaze is about 10 km east of the Squilax Bridge

A screen capture from Chris “Sky” Saccoccia’s Twitch live stream of his rally in Kelowna’s Stuart Park on April 22, 2021. (therealchrisskytv/Twitch.tv)
Anti-mask activist Chris Sky descends on Kelowna, incites violation of COVID-19 health orders

The appearance is part of Chris “Sky” Saccoccia’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ that is currently travelling cross-country

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
EDITORIAL: High marks for Canada’s democratic process

Accusations of widespread corruption do not hold up

Most Read