Footballer in Colombia could face jail for kicking owl off field
Deportivo Pereira's Luis Moreno, seen playing for the Panamanian national team in 2009, could face charges over kicking an owl.
March 1st, 2011
12:14 PM ET

Footballer in Colombia could face jail for kicking owl off field

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 Atlético 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 about 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."

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Filed under: Animals • Colombia • Nature • Panama • Soccer • Sports • World
soundoff (496 Responses)
  1. Vishad

    Who gives a hoot

    March 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • diego

      From your name I gather that you are either from India or Pakistan, more than likely a Muslim because a true Hindu would never say that. Loser.

      March 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tikka T3

    That guy didn't kicked the bird off because the only thing his brain can coordinate are his feet.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chuck

    one look at the guy and you can tell he is a dirty little piece of trash..

    March 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • me too

      why cause he's black?

      March 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • diego

      No because he has tattoos you troll trash.

      March 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • angela


      March 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • me too

      what did i do to tick you off? troll trash? take a look in the mirror and grow up

      March 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. freddy

    It's still animal cruelty. No matter how you kick it. It is also a true account of his charactor. He is a bully and a coward that goes after smaller prey.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • me too

      Or he could have just been mad that the bird ended up on the field to begin with. If it was such a loved mascot why did it end up on the field instead of staying on the sidelines? Werent they supposed to be watching the bird? Plus you never got mad before?

      March 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • diego

      Me too, this guy wouldn't think twice about banging your mom with you present... so shut the hell up.

      March 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • me too

      this is a free country I dont have to shut the hell up and my mom thanks you for the compliment

      March 1, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. h

    was just talking to a friend last night over dinner about how outrageous it is that Michael Vick has been giving another chance after what he did and called a hero, given the key by the mayor, etc.
    They both should burn in hell. They are being watched my millions of children and fans and all the more reason they should be severely punished for their disgusting actions. Anyone who defends them is a pathetic human with no soul or heart.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • me too

      And so are you for not giving them a chance or forgiving them for their actions. Especially Vick since he paid for his crime and is at least trying to fix his life. Take a look at yourself in the mirror and boy would I hate to be one of your kids since you hold a really long gruge

      March 1, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mickey

      Oh please – Michael Vick went to jail – that is why he stopped. The man has yet to admit he knew it was wrong. Even in all his speeches to schools, he manages to escape saying "I knew it was wrong and did it anyway." He keeps using the "part of my culture" statement. What a crock – he hid the buildings for pete's sake!!! Just once I would like to see him say that he knew it was wrong. Selling drugs is "part of the culture" of the hood too – maybe we should just forgive the drug dealers – they just can't help themselves!

      March 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • me too

      "The man has yet to admit he knew it was wrong" really?? Do you even watch sports or tv? He has said this hundreds of times. And if drug dealers come out of prison after doing their time and contribute to society by helping at events or speaking to students about how he knew what he did was wrong then I would forgive them. I wish a quarter of the criminals that come out of prison were as good as him. And please like you are so perfect and not for nothing most people stop what they are doing when they get caught yes but sometimes that's what it takes.

      March 1, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • SP

      Im glad im not one of your kids. You are sitting here talking about how they should burn in hell and our nations youth shouldnt watch them. Michael Vick has been showing our nations youth that you need to take responsibilities for your actions. The man has to give away 3/4 of his salary to all the debt collectors and people from the dog ring. Yet he still goes out on the football field and gives it all hes got proving hes not all about the money. The world is a sick place because of people like you who think we shouldnt give people second chances

      March 1, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vick Tater

      He paid his price... he served his sentence. Lighten up idiot.

      March 1, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • B. A.

      Michael Vick is the lowest form of human on the planet. A brain that can conscience what he did, is dangerous and cares for nothing. Sociopaths like him can function to a degree in society, but. believe me, if a animal or human gets in his way for any reason, he will do what it takes to have his way. Animal abusers need to be taken out of society before they can damage any more living things.

      March 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Second Chances

      you are the most hypocrtical people ive ever had the displeasure of hearing speak. Michael Vick was convicted of his crime in court. He was given the MAXIMUM sentence, absolute maximum, and he served his time. Everyone deserves second chances. If this was a guy that mowed someone down in their car while drunk, all of you Vick haters would say he deserves a second chance. But as soon as a guy hurts animals, he should go to hell? That seems a little extreme to me. What he did was wrong, no question, but he doesn't deserve to go to hell.

      March 1, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. soccercoach

    People - it's soccer. He couldn't use his hands to move the owl...

    March 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. soccercoach's Futbol. He can't use his hands to move the object...

    March 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. him

    I already did that to my grandma and silly arabian teddy bear

    March 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Peter

    I'd love to kick his ugly face.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Sure Peter, go up to him and kick him in the face.

      March 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • I Don't THINK So

      He'd kick your butt.

      March 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John

    Correction: 50,000 Pesos equals $4,136.00 US Dollars not $26.00

    March 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      Colombian Pesos have a different exchange rate than Mexican Pesos. (1 Colombian peso = 0.0005 US dollars compared to 1 Mexican peso = 0.0827 US dollars)

      March 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ginny

      Columbian Pesos, not Mexican.

      March 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bigfoot Yancey

      You are a smart one.

      March 1, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iguis

      no is not....I am colombian.....about 2,000 or 1,756 pesos are like one dollar....

      March 1, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iguis

      No is dollar is like 2,000 or 1,750 pesos.....I am colombian

      March 1, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jayatl71

    $26? That's a joke! I'm not sure how much time he will really get behind bars but hit this fool harder in the pocket book.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Hangtownie

    Owl lands on soccer field and gets kicked. Who would of thought? – Once a long time ago, "pre Madonna" an owl flew in front of my truck – and now I'm a menace to society. Sometimes wild life and peoples activities clash.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • MashaSobaka

      The owl did not “get kicked.” Someone deliberately kicked the owl. There is a huge difference. A smart puppy like you should be able to surmise as much.

      March 1, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. him

    but you better get some glass's first since you keep typing Jim...I dont know how they read and write in gay middle east, but a J is not the same as an H...but hey that's why you guys still live in sand in a 3rd world country...good bye!

    March 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Parkerman

    I don't believe animals are more important than people, but to simply kick this bird (a living creature) off the field in such a manner shows no heart on his part. People can mostly control their own decisions and fate and are largely responsible for themselves, but animals do not have those abilities and in many cases rely on our care and compassion. Treat an animal humanely at all times and most likely you will also treat your fellow human being humanely.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. me too

    Why arent the owners of the mascot being charged with neglect for not watching the owl and allowing it to go on the field? Why wasnt the owl arrested by police for running out onto the field and interupting a sporting event like some people do at NFL games. This man did us a great service! If these animals want to be treated and respected like us they also need to pay for their consequences as well just like we do.

    March 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
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