I’ve been at my zoo in one way or another for a year and a half now. When I found out the Education department animals included two owls, I - a self proclaimed owl fanatic - nearly died. I’ve been handling our little Screech owl, Otus (who has many photos scattered throughout my blog), for over a year now and I love him to pieces, but I always had the goal of working up to our Great Horned Owl, Hal. Due to his size, behavior, and general intimidation factor, Hal is the last animal anyone will work with in the Education department, so I figured I would have to wait a while. But then I was hired as an employee at my zoo (twice over, as I have technically two positions there), I felt I had a reason to ask. Good thing I did, given the head of Education agreed.
Today, I finally achieved my goal and was trained on Hal. Goal: accomplished!
(PS. Hal is missing his right wing and no, I don’t know why. He was a Louisiana animal, but his facility was ruined during Hurricane Katrina and the zoo that had him could no longer care for him, so he came to us about a year after it happened. He gets on fine without it and is the reason that he is a non-releasable animal and has a lovely home at my zoo!)