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.
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!
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.”