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Great Plains Zoo to release recovered great horned owl

Published: Feb. 27, 2020 at 3:45 PM CST
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We all love a good story of redemption and the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls is giving us one this week.

On Friday they will be releasing a Great Horned Owl back into the wild. Staff says the owl flew into a hospital building earlier this month and suffered trauma to its beak and eye.

The owl has been in the care of the zoo's raptor program for a couple of weeks now. The program determines whether a bird is capable of being released back into the wild and if it'll be able to hunt.

“We’ll take an animal to open space. It has jesses on its feet that's tied to a line, we’ll release that animal kind of in a safe location. We’ll judge flight, resistance on the line, how high it's going and we'll go from there,” says Matt Eschenbrenner, Director of Animal Care and Conservation.

The Great Plains Zoo releases around five animals back into the wild every year.