No more who-who
The Owl Café Italy closed down permanently, only after six months of activity. In this curious café, as its name suggests, you could taste a typical Italian espresso or a cup of hot chocolate among different kinds of live owls, right into the center of Palazzolo, Brescia.
The Owl Café Italy was the first Italian place with these particular characteristics. Opened last winter, this business was brought to the peninsula following an already established trend in other countries, especially in Japan.
Reasons not clear
The reasons of the closure are not clear, as the business (and birds) owners, three young local entrepreneurs, did not want to make a comment about the motivations of this choice. However, all they did was to remark that “who could get to know us well, knows that this project was temporary and aimed at generating public awareness of these elusive animals and their special world. Therefore, our objective was to educate the people in their approach with these raptors. We can say that we accomplished what we wanted to achieve, so we are happy with the results. Now, we will continue with our awarness-raising activities”.
Protests from animal rights activists
Rumor is that the café did not have a sufficient number of clients. Nonetheless, all the protests and complaints from environmental associations and animal rights activits could have had an impact. Indeed, some months ago, LIPU (the Italian League for Bird Protection) issued a press release where the idea of a owl café was called “damaging” and “inappropriate”, as it “subverted the nature of these endangered species”.
Another objection used was that, as in happened in the United Kingdom, where the laws on the detention of raptors are less stringent, the café could make having an owl at home a new trend.
However, the owners repeatedly declared that the café was abiding the laws and respected all the standards required by keeping the animals, also thanks to the strict rules to which the visitors were subjected.