Before the Daily Mail posted the suddenly famous owl kick video, they added “Warning: Contains animal cruelty.” It sort of reminded me of a warning from a package of cigarettes. “Warning: Cigarettes cause cancer.” For some reason, that struck me. The other thing of course that was striking was the video itself, of Pereira player Luis Moreno kicking an owl nearly ten feet across the field during a match in Colombia.
The owl was a good luck charm for the fans of Pereira’s opponents, the home team, Junior Barranquilla. The owl came onto the field and was hit with the ball. That’s when Moreno ran over and kicked the owl off the field. The crowd started screaming at Moreno and chanting: “murderer, murderer, murderer.”
The owl kick video quickly went viral and caused outrage. "I apologize to the fans, it wasn't my intention, I did it to see if the owl could fly," said Moreno. Who is he getting his excuses from, Charlie Sheen?
Barranquilla got the last laugh on the field, beating Pereira 2-1. Players from Barranquilla were angry about the incident. "I was so angry he hit the little animal, especially after it had already been hit by the ball, said Barranquilla's Luis Paez to the El Heraldo newspaper.
The owl was recovering in the Zoosalud veterinary clinic in Barranquilla where veterinarians said that the bird was under stress and needed sedation, but did not have any broken bones. He later died of respiratory arrest.
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, CNN reports. Moreno offered another apology, saying "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," Radio Santa Fe reports.