Surviving Glastonbury: Two baby owls found under Pyramid Stage during Guns N' Roses set

Left: Axl and Slash, rescued; Right: Axl and Slash, on stage
Left: Axl and Slash, rescued; Right: Axl and Slash, on stage Copyright Secret World Wildlife Rescue/PA
By David Mouriquand
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Two little owls are being cared for by a rescue centre after being discovered under the Pyramid Stage during Glastonbury Festival. Everyone’s hoping the Guns ‘N’ Roses set didn’t traumatise them too badly.


You’ll never guess what was found under a stage during this year’s Glastonbury festival.

A pair of traumatised (and presumably tinnitus-suffering) owls, that’s hoo.

Indeed, two little owls (or owlets, to be more precise) are being cared for by a wildlife charity after they were found under the famous Pyramid Stage.

The first was discovered during the Guns N' Roses headline set on Saturday 24 June. Named Axl (after the band's vocalist Axl Rose), it was transferred to Secret World Wildlife Rescue (SWWR) in Highbridge (Somerset), UK.

The following day, another bird, thought to be Axl's sibling, was discovered in the same place. Named Slash (after Guns N' Roses guitarist), the owlet was soon reunited with Axl at SWWR.

David Plant, fundraising manager at SWWR, said: “When Guns N’ Roses were playing Welcome To The Jungle, I’m sure they didn’t realise how close they actually were to wildlife.”

Owls typically look for nesting spots in trees, but the Pyramid Stage seemed to have been an ideal location to make a nest, especially since the frame remains in place all year when Worthy Farm goes back to being a dairy farm. Still, the sonic disturbance must have been quite the ordeal for the two nesters...

“This is possibly the most unusual disturbance case we’ve heard about this year, but it just goes to show the importance of checking your surrounding for wildlife before any activity,” he added. “It looks like the parents sadly abandoned their nest once festival preparation began, so it’s difficult to say how long the chicks were left alone.”

Secret World Wildlife Rescue/PA
Axl and Slash, recuperating after their ordealSecret World Wildlife Rescue/PA

However long it was, the two endured two full days of gigs before being rescued.

“We’re so grateful to the people who found and helped them; they must have been terrified after enduring almost two full days of loud music,” said Plant, before urging people to check long-standing structures or materials for any wildlife and avoid disturbing nests.

“Whether you’re renovating your garden, or setting up for the world’s biggest musical festival, our advice is always the same: if you’ve got materials or structures that have been in place for a while, please check them carefully before moving anything, as you may end up disturbing a nest.”

Beyond solid advice, Plant remained happy that the two were rescued and was in a puntastic mood.

"We’re hopeful they won’t be 'Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door' any time soon, and we’ll be making plans to return them to the wild once they’re old enough, so they’ll get their chance to experience some 'November Rain' later in the year.”

Fare thee well, Sweet Owls O' Mine, and mind your cute furry ears.

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