Harry Potter play cuts owls after one flies away

Posted at 3:35 PM, Jun 10, 2016

LONDON (AP) — Farewell, feathered cast members of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child."

Producers say they have removed live owls from the play after one escaped into the auditorium during a preview.

The barn owl failed to return to its handler during Tuesday's show. Producers said in a statement Friday that "earlier this week the decision was made not to feature live owls in any aspect of the production moving forward."

They said the owls had been "expertly cared for" by trainers and a vet.

Animal welfare group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said the announcement was "a huge relief for all Harry Potter fans who care about animals."

The two-part play, set 19 years after the climax of J.K. Rowling's final "Harry Potter" novel, officially opens July 30.