SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The great horned owl spotted at the Avera Health Campus on Louise is making a speedy recovery at the Great Plains Zoo.
The Great Horned Owl was resting on the mossy balcony of the second floor at the speciality hospital when a South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks official stopped to check on it.
According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Great Horned Owl is one of the most common owls in North America. It can take down birds and mammals larger than itself, but it also dines on tiny critters like scorpions, mice and frogs.
When clenched, a Great Horned Owl’s strong talons require a force of 28 pounds to open. The owls use this deadly grip to sever the spine of large prey.Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Wildlife specialists were able to catch it and take it to the Great Plains Zoo where the owl can rehabilitate.
Matt Eschenbrenner is the Great Plains Zoo Director of Animal Care and Conservation. He says the Great Plains Zoo has a rehabilitation program for raptors.
“We did have a Great Horned Owl come into the Great Plains Zoo. Injuries consistent of going head first into a building. A little bit of trauma to the beak and a little bit of trauma to the eyes, so right now, we are monitoring closely,” Eschenbrenner said.
The owl is expected to be released back into the wild in the next few weeks.