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Why Laughing Owl?

In our search for a moniker, icon, and mascot, we knew we’d found all three rolled into one when we came across the Laughing Owl of New Zealand. The Laughing Owl is the embodiment of parents’ wish to educate, protect, and laugh with their children. While an owl traditionally represents wisdom, our goal was more complex. We wanted an image that represented wisdom, but we didn’t want a wise, old character admonishing the young. Laughing Owl conveys our mission—helping parents communicate wise messages to their children through music, conversation, and yes, laughter.

We don’t ignore the laughing owl’s more sober side because it, too, is meaningful and serves as a warning. The Laughing Owl is almost certainly extinct. When European settlers arrived in New Zealand in
1840, the Laughing Owl was endemic to that region and had been for at least one million years, possibly up to twenty-five million years.

Only forty years after settlers arrived, the Laughing Owl was close to extinction. The last specimen was reported in 1914. Introduction of predators, such as cats and dogs, as well as mustelines used to kill rabbits, is believed to be partially responsible for the disappearance of these owls, which both hunted and nested on the ground. Persecution and encroachment of its natural habitat were also responsible.

While animals are vulnerable to the way humans act, children are dependent upon their parents’ actions. Laughing Owl represents parents’ taking the time to communicate their values to their children in order to raise children who will become resilient teenagers able to survive the pressures of their environment.

 

 

 

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