The UK's Owl Problem ⇒

{% blockquote -David Paul The Mirror %} Hundreds of owls are being abandoned across the country after being bought as pets by Harry Potter fans. {% endblockquote %}

Awful, but this is nothing new. As noted later in the story:

The Harry Potter owl craze echoes that of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle film in the early 1990s, when thousands of ­unwanted pet terrapins were dumped in Britain’s rivers, canals and lakes.

Cahal Milmo at The Independent filed a story in 2010 about the long-term effects of the terrapin abandonment:

Conservationists have issued a warning that hundreds of boating lakes, canals and waterways in towns and cities are infested with terrapins and small turtles which were bought as pets while brightly-coloured babies barely bigger than a 50p coin but dumped by owners unable to cope as they grew to mature carnivorous adults the size of a dinner plate.

The trend began in the early 1990s when thousands of red-eared terrapins, each capable of living up to 30 years, were bought by young fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon.

Children’s entertaiment and animals are a dangerous combination.