From The Conversation (9/2/24)…
Harry Potter and the Disenchanted Wildlife: how light and sound shows can harm nocturnal animal
Light and sound shows in parks can enthral crowds with their colour, music and storytelling. Lasting for weeks to months, the shows provide entertainment and can boost local economies. But unless they are well-located, the shows can also harm wildlife.
A planned production at a wildlife sanctuary in outer Melbourne has brought these concerns to the fore. In April and May this year, a wildlife reserve on the Mornington Peninsula will host Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience. The event involves a two-kilometre night walk where, according to organisers, characters from the film are “brought to life”.
The event has prompted an outcry from people worried about the effect on the reserve’s vulnerable wildlife. The sanctuary, known as The Briars, is home tonative animals including powerful and boobook owls, owlet-nightjars, koalas, wallabies, Krefft’s gliders, lizards, frogs, moths and spiders. A petition calling for the event to be relocated has attracted more than 21,000 signatures.