The witches and wizards of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will have to find an alternate mail delivery system. According to producers of the London production, live owls will no longer be used after one escaped into the auditorium during previews.
According to the Associated Press, a barn owl failed to return to its handler during Tuesday’s preview. “Earlier this week the decision was made not to feature live owls in any aspect of the production moving forward,” the producers said in a statement on Friday.
PETA called the move “a huge relief for all Harry Potter fans who care about animals,” and tweeted in response that “animals are not props.” Though, the producers clarified that the owls were “expertly cared for.”
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child picks up 19 years after The Deathly Hallows novel. Previews began at London’s Palace Theatre on June 7 ahead of the production’s official opening on July 30.