US Marijuana Party

Saturday, December 17, 2005

High Owl Hides Out In Christmas Tree

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A bird with a buzz found in a Florida family's Christmas tree is getting ready to go back into the wild.

The little screech owl was found in the tree, which the family had kept for five days before deciding to decorate it.

Animal control officers from Pelican Man's Bird Sanctuary came to get the owl, and said they smelled a strange odor on it when they did.

"Curiously enough, the owl's feathers smelled very, very potently like marijuana," said Jeff Dering, of the sanctuary. "They examined the owl, looked at its eyes, ... and the owl was, in the vernacular, stoned."

Blood tests confirmed the owl's state.

Sanctuary staff checked the bird out, fed him and named him "Cheech." They said he would be released in a few days.

The buzzing bird also brought an early holiday gift to the sanctuary, which was in need of more than $250,000. The attention the bird has brought has helped ensure the sanctuary's survival.


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