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Zoo news: Raptor rehab saves screech owl
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It’s been 10 years since the Raptor Center opened at the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo. The building that serves as the entryway to the zoo is a great place to learn about raptors, or birds of prey, but it’s also where injured raptors are brought for treatment. On Wednesday, Dr. Mike Malone and Dr. Jackie Corbett, the zoo’s veterinarians, examined an adult screech owl that was brought in recently and said it is fit to be released back into the wild.

The owl will get a few more “free meals” at the raptor center so it can leave in warmer weather.

It was found in Ellinwood, a block from the Immanuel United Church of Christ. At the time, the owl was unable to fly and had an eye injury.

“It probably would not have survived outside,” Malone said.

As he examined the owl on Wednesday, he felt the flight muscles attached to its keel, a ridge on the breastbone. Birds housed at the zoo would also be examined that day.


The lion howdy continues

Keepers continue to work toward the goal of forming a lion pride with Luke and the two females, Amana and Sauda. They are getting along well at close quarters, but they are still separated. The introductions won’t be complete until they can all share the outdoor exhibit space at the same time.

“It’s been slow going,” said Sara Hamlin, zoo supervisor and curator.

The problem is that Luke gets so excited, Malone said.

The lions do enjoy each others’ company, Hamlin noted. “They talk back and forth – baby talk like cubs do with their mothers.” They also rub their heads on each other between the bars. The head rubbing is similar to the behavior of an affectionate house cat, she said. “It’s a good sign.”

Spiral Wishing Well

The Great Bend Zoological Society has purchased a Spiral Wishing Well for a fun fundraiser.

“Kids will love dropping coins into the launch ramps and then watching them spin around the vortex, spiraling down into the center of the funnel as they try to defy gravity,” according to the description in the Zoo Society’s winter newsletter. The Spiral Wishing Well is located just inside the southwest door of the Raptor Center. All donations will go to the benefit of animals at the zoo.