A woman has reportedly tied an owl to a tree and killed it with a stone in front of stunned passersby because she wanted to defend herself against witches.
The incident took place in the municipality of El Banco in the northern Colombian department of Magdalena, and was reported by the department’s Regional Autonomous Corporation.
According to the authority, the bird was tied to a tree and stoned to death by a superstitious woman.
Reports said that passersby tried to intervene, but were unable to stop the woman from killing the bird.
Before the witnesses called the police, the suspect told them that she was defending herself against witches.
The police arrived on the scene shortly afterwards and found the dead bird, but the woman had already disappeared.
Meanwhile, the regional environmental authority explained that the many people in the rural community of El Banco consider owls a bad omen with characteristics associated with death and the supernatural.
Because of these traditional superstitions, many owls have been poisoned or had their natural habitats intentionally destroyed by believers.
The local authorities clarified that owls are not dangerous animals and are essential for the ecosystem as they are excellent pest controllers.
Environmental official Carlos Francisco Diazgranados said: “When superstition categorises a certain animals as being evil, it usually works out bad for them and results in them being hunted, mistreated or indiscriminately killed.”
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