PETA’s ‘Owl’ Mascot to Protest JHU Graduation

For Immediate Release:
May 26, 2021

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Baltimore – Because Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is still greenlighting experimenter Shreesh Mysore’s appallingly cruel, worthless, and apparently illegal brain experiments on barn owls, a PETA protester in an owl costume will make a scene at the university’s graduation ceremony tomorrow. Other protesters will hold signs proclaiming, “Owls Caged as Grads Cross Stage.”

When:    Thursday, May 27, 6:30 p.m.

Where:    Homewood Field, 111 W. University Pkwy. (at the intersection with Canterbury Road), Baltimore

Mysore cuts open owls’ skulls, inserts electrodes into their brains, and bombards them with lights and noise under the guise of studying attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in humans. Owls are kept restrained for up to 12 hours at a time, and they are all killed after the experiments. Mysore has admitted that attaching bolts to the birds’ skulls in order to hold their heads in an unnaturally fixed position might cause him to “misinterpret what’s happening or misunderstand” the results.

“As JHU graduates go out into the world, owls remain caged in Mysore’s laboratory, where they’ll endure painful brain mutilation and death,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA calls on the university to end this despicable treatment of beautiful, intelligent owls immediately.”

In response to a formal complaint filed by PETA, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources warned Mysore that he had violated state law by keeping and experimenting on owls without the mandated permit from 2015 through 2018. PETA is now calling on the agency to revoke his permit and on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to recoup his grant money and deny future requests, because NIH grant recipients are required to comply with state laws. PETA also recently filed a groundbreaking lawsuit on behalf of the owls, and it is still pending.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind