A professional soccer player in Colombia faces up to three months in jail for kicking an opposing team's lucky owl, which had been been hit by a ball after landing on the field Sunday. The owl died Tuesday.
The owl was considered a good luck charm for the AtlĂ©tico Junior squad in Barranquilla and lived in its Metropolitan Stadium.
Luis Moreno, a Panamanian player for Deportivo Pereira, was met with chants of "Murderer! Murderer! Murderer!" after kicking the owl and had to leave the stadium under heavy police guard, according to the Daily Mail in London. (The Daily Mail has video of the owl kick, or you can check it out on YouTube.)
For those too squeamish to watch the footage, which the Daily Mail warns constitutes animal cruelty, a Pereira defender chases a Junior attacker into the penalty box, wins the ball from him and clears it, poorly, hitting the owl that had landed on the field.
The referee stops play, and Moreno trots over and kicks the bird off the field, a distance of aboutÂ three yards.
The incident was aired on national television and prompted widespread outrage, and not just from Junior fans. Environmental groups urged sanctions against Moreno and called for protests at the National Soccer building in Bogota.
Moreno apologized, saying it was not his intention to harm the bird.
"I did it to see if the owl could fly," the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
The owl was taken to Zoosalud veterinary clinic in Barranquilla, the Daily Mail reported. Veterinarians said it was suffering from stress and needed sedation but that X-rays indicated no fractures.
The veterinarians later told Colombia Reports, a news website, that the owl died early Tuesday of respiratory arrest.
A Spanish-language report from Radio Santa Fe in Bogota said that Moreno faces one to three months in prison and a maximum fine of 50,000 pesos, about $26.
Moreno apologized again in a news conference and said he would accept responsibility.
"I apologize to the whole country and more to the fans of Barranquilla because it was a very grave action, and if I receive a penalty, then I'll take it."
That is one fat, inbred slob!
Who? The owl?
yall are stupid
Yes, you and your family are.
Owl be back...
Another reason why soccor will NEVER catch on in the states.
They don't even go to jail that long for beating thier wives and girlfriends. Hell they don't go to jail that long for kicking each other. smh. Animal cruelty is wrong but lets be real everyone and thing is not defended to that capacity.
Thank you. A little logic goes a long way. Animal cruelty is wrong, but it was an OWL. People don't get this worked up about child abusers .
Another reason why Soccer will NEVER catch on in the States.
It is just a f-ing owl.... no one should be jailed for kicking or killing an owl.
it's called cruelty to animals. look it up. doesn't matter what it was, it was a poor decision and he should pay for. Show a little respect!
You are just a f-ing human. No one should be jailed for kicking, hitting or killing you, either.
No OWL would ever wish death on you! Only filthy, disgusting, blood-thirsty humans are to blame for every freaking problem on the Earth. Humans should die off and let the animals live in peace.. oh and me of course. LOL
@wsj Indeed Morbo agrees.
This guy is an idiot! I hope he ends up having to do countless hours of service for this and huge fines! What kind of person does that? I am surprised none of the opposing team kicked his butt after that!
he barely even kicked it. more like put his foot under it and flicked it. no harm done.
btw that fine of $26 is kind of hilarious. Heck, I'd foot that fine for him if he can't pay it.
suck it PETA freaks
Interesting comment coming from someone who put gerbils up their rear end as a teenager.
The bird was obviously hurt. No matter what his excuse there is no reason for him to have used his foot instead of getting on his hands and knees and examining if the bird can be safely moved without further damage. If he himself was laying on the field with multiple shattered bones and possible ruptured organs would he want to be moved in such a manor?
I think not! This monster deserves sever punishment.
Do you have any IDEA how strong the beak grip of an owl is? That beak is specifically made to tear flesh, not carress it. Owls do not see well in light and it was probably blinded and swooped down near the field....all accidents....accept for the vet that oversedated the bird....you should NEVER sedate a bird...it's so dangerous because they are so sensitive.
I'm not saying it's okay to intentionally hurt animals, but, what about the soccer ball hitting the owl, it had a lot of speed when it hit the owl. I mean isn't it partially the fault of the Atletico Junior club since they keep an Owl in a soccer stadium where it could potentially do such things as land on the field and be hit with a ball or a person accidently run into it (not what the guy did, i know that).
Yeah but it is one thing for your pet to die because you are stupid than to go after an injured animal with intent to further that damage. It is like me accidentally throwing a ball to my dog where he jumps for it and falls off a steep ledge then while he is at the bottom of the hill with two shattered legs and 4 broken ribs someone comes along and smashes his skull with a rock. Yeah, my bad because of taking him to play catch in a dangerous location but the second person is a whole other level of bad.
except what you wrote jimvsmij is such an extraordinary exaggeration of what happened it doesn't actually pertain, it'd be like someone moving your dog, and then it died from the broken leg.
ok fine, someone kicks my poor injured dog the equivalent of 5 of his body lengths. How does that make the person less evil??
Stupid Hogwarts wizards, letting their owls go wherever they please.
Birds, especially birds of prey are extremely sensetive to sedation. That owl died of respiratory arrest from being over sedated at the vets...it had nothing to do with the players handling of the bird.
wrong. you must be his girlfriend or something. i am entirely positive that the brutal kick i saw on youTube had something to do with the birds death.
So say it wasn't an owl but instead your kid. If your kid didn't die due to over sedation, this guy didn't do anything wrong???
well, what if the bird flew into his eye and he died? would the bird get jail time? what a story !!! .. lol
humans routinely hunt down and kill any animals that kills humans: bears, cougars, great white sharks...