Zoo Releases Rehabilitated Owls

Great Plains Zoo
Published: October 24, 2012, 8:12 AM



The Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History this morning released a Great Horned Owl and an Eastern Screech Owl that were part of its Raptor Rehabilitation Program. 

The birds were released at Blood Run Nature Area. 

Over the years, the Zoo has rehabilitated and healed scores of birds.  Some birds, however, are injured so severely that they could never regain the ability to fly, even with rehabilitation.  Those birds become teaching ambassadors in educational programs for the Great Plains Zoo or other zoos.     

“In addition to the 1,000-plus animals people can visit at the Zoo, we also care for and actively rehabilitate raptors and other animals that are brought to us, having been sick or injured in the wild,” said Elizabeth A. Whealy, President and CEO of the Great Plains Zoo.  “It is exciting for us to see these rehabilitated birds fly off and return to the wild again – where they belong.”

The Great Plains Zoo’s experienced animal care staff and staff veterinarian provide the medical care needed, and then work to rebuild flight capabilities through flight training and exercise.  In addition to owls, the Zoo has rehabilitated Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, Red-Tailed Hawks and other birds.  The Zoo coordinates with area veterinarians and the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks to receive injured birds from throughout the region.    

The Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last admission at 4 p.m. Visit the Zoo online at www.greatzoo.org or call 605-367-7003 for more information about the Zoo and Museum.


The Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering a greater understanding of our natural world through education, conservation, recreation and discovery. The Great Plains Zoo is an accredited member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) – a leader in wildlife conservation. Fewer than 10% of American zoos and aquariums have met the high standards for AZA accreditation.