Some number of owls have been thrown out of work, as the stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has decided not to use live owls, after all.

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According to the Hollywood Reporter, it’s all down to one owl who missed his mark:

Following an incident during the first-ever performance, live owls have now been removed from the production. Guests at the Palace Theater on Thursday were greeted with a sign that said “no real birds” were being used. On Tuesday, an owl – which was due to make a brief flight during a scene – failed to return to the handler and escaped into the auditorium.

One owl botches his cue and suddenly all the owls are out on their furry tushes? Wow!

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The producers noted in their statement that, “The owls that were associated with the production were expertly cared for by a team of certified trainers and an on-site specialist veterinary surgeon... who ensured the owls’ welfare and enrichment needs were safeguarded at all times.” PETA praised the show for “coming to its senses.”


Photo via Getty Images.