A unique project in one of Johannesburg’s most notorious townships is helping bring down rodent infestation in Alexandra by relying on Owls.
The Township Owl Project takes juvenile birds rescued from perilous situations, such as when a building where they nested in is demolished, and gives them a new home and a new job.
More than 200 owls have been deployed like this over the past decade, according to Jonathan Haw, head of EcoSolutions, a private environmental planning company that has been steering the initiative on a pro bono basis.
Two species of owls have been used – the barn owl, which has a distinctive oval face, and the much larger spotted eagle owl.
Haw said barn owls are particularly suited to urban conditions because, as their name suggests, they have long been associated with human habitation.
This also makes them ideal for the control of pests such as rats because where humans go, rats follow.
CGTN`s Julie Scheier has more.