Football Player Kicks Owl off Field

What is it with professional football players and animal cruelty?

On Sunday, February 27, a match between two South American football clubs – Atletico Junior and Deportivo Pereira – was held in Barranquilla, Colombia.  During the game, an owl flew onto the field.  The owl was injured during a collision with the ball and then kicked off the field by one of the players.  The owl died on Tuesday.

This was no ordinary owl.  He lived in the home team’s stadium roof and was considered their unofficial mascot.  When the incident occurred, fans in the stadium could be heard shouting “murderer, murderer.”

A veterinarian in the stands came to the owl’s assistance shortly after the incident, but the bird went into shock and died two days later from respiratory arrest.

Luis Moreno, the Deportivo Pereira defender who can be seen kicking the owl in a close up shot, later apologized.  He was quoted in “I was not trying to hurt the owl. I did it to see if it would fly,” said Moreno.  “What I wanted to do was get it off the field. The kick was a product of tension on the field at the time,” he explained.

Yahoo! Sports reported Moreno was suspended for two games and fined $560.

In a news conference on Monday, Moreno spoke.  “I apologize to the whole country and more to the fans of Barranquilla because it was a very serious action, and if I get a penalty, then I’ll take it,” he said.

Well, he got his penalty.  Let’s see how he takes it.
TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition calling for a stronger penalty. 

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Photo: Flickr - pricejaj


Lucy H.
Lucy H.4 years ago

An eye for an eye leaves the world blind. People who abuse animals were usually abused themselves when they are children. This does not excuse their actions but more abuse and more violence is not the answer.

Lauren Tebo
Lauren Tebo4 years ago

Just because your a big shot soccer player and like to walk all over people doesn't mean you are allowed to kick and kill an innocent owl. That poor thing didn't do anything wrong and was the one who ended up dieing. I think Moreno should get a more severe punishment.

Karilyn K.
Karilyn K.5 years ago

Oh geez - ignorant brute! if he ever gets down on the field I hope that someone comes along and kicks him in the head.

John Doe
james rico5 years ago

he should have got three months in jail and a 25000 fine and have to take courses in animal care and conservation while in jail so that others can learn from this as well as him

Colin D.
Colin Denchfield5 years ago

To all those calling for this monster to volunteer in an animal sanctuary: Do you really think it wise to force an animal abuser to be anywhere near an animal, let alone actually be in a position of caring for them?

I think at the very least, ban him from playing football for longer than 2 games. He's already admitted he committed this wicked act because of the "tensions" on the field. Are the players, playing against him not therefore also at risk of him unleashing his "tension" on them?

Let's have more appropriate and sensible punishments for criminals. His penalty served as no deterrent for anyone else of a similar mentality.

Rachel C D.
Rachel C D.5 years ago

I guess I shall remain voiceless... is that censorship?

Rachel C D.
Rachel C D.5 years ago

So... how long does it take for a comment to get posted? I sent mine between Alexandra F. and E.C. Is something wrong?

Alexandra F.
Alexandra Dixon5 years ago

If he wanted to get the owl off the field, he could have picked it up and gently placed it somewhere safe. If he wanted to see if it could fly, he could have picked it up and gently held it with his hands open - if it could have flown, it would have.

E. C.
E C.5 years ago

because I can't edit and forgot to add--he'll be lucky if he isn't attacked by some of the fans.

E. C.
E C.5 years ago

I don't blame soccer. There are thousands and thousands of players who wouldn't do what he did. His excuse is lame, and so is the fine. It's a slap on the wrist--sounded like something you would give someone who was caught parking illegally...not someone who did a voilent act causing damage and then death to an innocent animal. The fine needs to be much bigger, and the penalties more severe.