British Woman Becomes ‘Star’ for Saving Starving Owl

A tawny owl. (Getty Images)
A tawny owl. (Getty Images)
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British Woman Becomes ‘Star’ for Saving Starving Owl

A tawny owl. (Getty Images)
A tawny owl. (Getty Images)

A woman has become an unlikely social media star in her Cornish village - all thanks to a family of tawny owls, reported the BBC on Friday.

Diane Knight had set up a CCTV system so she could watch the owls nesting in her barn near Carnon Downs, Cornwall.

But when the male owl stopped bringing the female food, Knight stepped in.

Her work to supply the owl and the baby owlet with dead mice has proved popular on the village's Facebook page.

Knight's owl obsession started through watching the pair of tawny owls on a nest-cam she had set up.

She said the male owl was injured in a fight with a rival owl and stopped bringing the female the food she needed while sitting on her single egg.

Knight, 69, took advice and started buying dead mice, stocked as snake food by local pet shops, soon racking up a bill of more than £100.

She was told to place the mice on a nearby beam to avoid disturbing the nest, which involved climbing up a 15ft (4.5m) ladder.

She also started to share stills and video on the Carnon Downs And Surrounding Area Notice Board on Facebook and was inundated with offers of help from followers.

"They've been brilliant," she said. "One gentlemen paid for 30 and another lady she paid for 20 so I've got 50 dead mice waiting for me.

"We've got enough now, we've got a freezerful," she added, according to the BBC.

Her regular owl updates on Facebook are attracting dozens of likes and comments.

"I am a little bit addicted to it myself, I haven't watched television for months," she said.

"I cannot believe how one little owlet has brought the community together.

"I went to the dentist and the first thing they said to me is 'Are you the Owl Lady of Carnon Downs?'"

Knight has named the owlet Dorothea - Dotty for short - and is hoping the young bird is soon learn to fly, leave the nest and hunt for its own mice dinners.



Greece Battles Wildfires Fanned by Gale Force Winds

A plane drops water during a wildfire, in Kitsi, near the town of Koropi, Greece, June 19, 2024. (Reuters)
A plane drops water during a wildfire, in Kitsi, near the town of Koropi, Greece, June 19, 2024. (Reuters)
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Greece Battles Wildfires Fanned by Gale Force Winds

A plane drops water during a wildfire, in Kitsi, near the town of Koropi, Greece, June 19, 2024. (Reuters)
A plane drops water during a wildfire, in Kitsi, near the town of Koropi, Greece, June 19, 2024. (Reuters)

Hundreds of firefighters struggled on Saturday to contain wildfires fanned by gale force winds on two Greek islands and in other parts of Greece, as authorities warned many regions face a high risk of new blazes.

More than 30 firefighters backed by two aircraft and five helicopters were battling a wildfire burning οn the island of Andros in the Aegean, away from tourist resorts, where four communities were evacuated as a precaution.

"More firefighters (are) expected on the island later in the day," a fire services official told Reuters, adding there were no reports of damage or injuries.

Wildfires are common in Greece, but they have become more devastating in recent years amid hotter and drier summers that scientists link to climate change. A wildfire near Athens last week forced dozens to flee their homes, which authorities said they believed was the result of arson as well as the hot, dry conditions.

Meteorologists say the latest fires are the first time that the country has experienced "hot-dry-windy" conditions so early in the summer.

"I can't remember another year facing such conditions so early, in early and mid-June," meteorologist Thodoris Giannaros told state TV.

On Friday, a 55-year-old man died in hospital after being injured in a blaze in the region of Ilia on Greece's Peloponnese peninsula, as several fires burned on Greece's southern tip.

Several hundred firefighters have been deployed to battle more than 70 forest fires across the country since Friday. High winds and hot temperatures will extend the risk into Sunday, the fire service said.

Earlier on Saturday, firefighters tamed a forest fire on the island of Salamina, in the Saronic Gulf west of Athens, and another about 30 kilometers east of the capital.

After forest fires last year forced 19,000 people to flee the island of Rhodes and killed 20 in the northern mainland, Greece has scaled up its preparations this year by hiring more staff and stepping up training.