Fri Mar 3, 2017 2:17AM
An owl is pictured at an owl cafe in Tokyo, Japan, January 27, 2017. © Reuters
An owl is pictured at an owl cafe in Tokyo, Japan, January 27, 2017. © Reuters
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Owl cafés have become popular in Japan amid the nation's pet cafe boom. But that has angered animal rights activists who are calling on authorities to intervene arguing animals are being manhandled.

At the cafés, children can play with owls and their parents can take photos with the birds that are often tied by their feet.

But rights activists have expressed some concerns for the welfare of the birds. They say the situation for owls is especially difficult since they fall prey to hunting in expansive habitats at night.

Their keen sense of hearing and vision are also poorly adapted to dealing with the brightness and noise of crowded cafes.


Meanwhile, Japanese regard owls as symbol of good luck. According to animal rights groups, since the owl is a sign of good luck, the birds are exposed to exceedingly large amounts of customers towards the end of the year.