The video shows an undeniably cute owl closing its eyes as it is stroked on the head. More than three million people have watched the clip on Youtube, spewing forth a torrent of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’.

“Actually a lot of birds are cuddly. I love the video. So adorable,” says one Youtube viewer.

However, animal protection organisation warn that owls are wild birds and not suitable to keep as pets.

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The Harry Potter films made popular the idea of keeping owls at home. But the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ( has urged people not to buy birds as pets or toys.

RSPCA spokeswoman Lucy Clark told the BBC:

“We have had inquiries from people wanting owls – snowy owls in particular such as the one featured in the film.

“We are concerned by the surge in demand for owls because we don’t think they make suitable pets. By their nature they are shy and reclusive birds, preferring to spend time in secluded places.”

The charity also pointed out that the birds can grow up to two feet tall with a six-foot wingspan. They may also be noisy and can cause injury with their sharp talons.

And here’s what the Barn Owl Trust ( say:

“We do not consider that Barn Owls make good pets. Feathers are not designed for stroking – it reduces their natural waterproofing.”

What do you think? Is it OK to keep birds captive for our own enjoyment?