Welcoming people to the city, a couple burrowing owls have made a grassy area by the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce their home.
But now, the City of Cape Coral is trying to kick the owls out and create a new burrow for them at Jaycee Park. However, wildlife advocates, like Pascha Donaldson, are against the move.
“Nowhere near where the chamber is in Jaycee Park is desirable,” Donaldson said. “There are no owls there. If it was desirable, the owls would be there.”
Some who often enjoy the park, like Jerry and Marilyn Bruner, do not think the owls will be safer there.
”There’s always dogs and lots of them,” said Jerry Bruner, who lives in Cape Coral.
”On the weekends, there are kids playing in the park,” said Marilyn Bruner, a Cape Coral resident. “They’ll camp here. The kids could go exploring with the little burrowing owl nests that they make. Too much population.”
The city said it has applied for Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission permits to collapse the burrow because the area is too risky and could cost taxpayers more if the owls are harassed.
The FWC has not approved the permit yet. The FWC said it takes the conservation of listed species like the burrowing owl, seriously. It will hear public input before letting the city remove the burrow.
”Fifteen years,” Donaldson said, “I’ve been doing this and the owls are still downtown in spite of all these wonderful celebrations that the city puts on.”
Donaldson said these owls should not have to find a new home.
”We hope that the people will get behind this,” Donaldson said.