Owl Is Ready for the Olympics at the London Zoo

The human athletes arriving in London’s Olympic Village aren’t the only ones preparing to compete.

Bob, a tiny burrowing owl, is among the ZSL London Zoo’s residents who have been training to compete in the zoo’s take on the Games: Animal Athletes in Action, a daily program that showcases the natural talents of different species.

So what’s Bob’s event? At 6 inches tall, this little guy takes on the 100 centimeter sprint — on his own custom-made track.

“Although Bob has a funny running style, he’s actually quite fast and in fact, he’s showing off a completely natural sporting talent,” boasts his keeper, Jamie Pearce. “Burrowing owls are very unusual in that they live in holes in the ground. They’ve adapted to run on land and they use their fast sprinting abilities to escape from predators.”

Among the other participants in the zoo’s version of the Olympics are diving penguins, gymnast monkeys and even weight-lifting bugs.


Join the Conversation

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!