Zoo: Missing owl can likely survive in Atlanta - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Zoo: Missing owl can likely survive in Atlanta

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Soren (Courtesy: Zoo Atlanta) Soren (Courtesy: Zoo Atlanta)
ATLANTA - Bird experts now believe they won't find an owl that went missing this past weekend during a flight demonstration. Soren, a barn owl, was part of Zoo Atlanta's Wildlife Theater until he flew away on Sunday.

The zoo's Curator of Birds James Ballance believes that it is unlikely that officials will be able to find the owl during an active search given that the owl's telemetry equipment is no longer reliable. Soren is only 10-inches tall and given that his species enjoys perching high in the tree canopy, a visual search would be near impossible.

Ballance says that this species of barn owls can survive well in the Grant Park area, but is worried because Soren hasn't had to find his own food in the three years he has been at the zoo. They are hoping that his predator instincts

According to James Ballance, the Zoo's Curator of Birds, the Grant Park area provides a good habitat for barn owls. The species is relatively common in suitable habitat in Georgia. Although Soren has not needed to find his own food in his three years as a member of the Zoo's Wildlife Theater, owls are very instinctual when it comes to locating food and avoiding predators, and the Zoo's show owls quite frequently catch wild rodents and large insects.

Soren can be discerned from a wild owl due to his leather anklet on each foot and a gold band on his left foot. He might be heard before he is seen with his high-pitched trills, rather than a hoot.

While zoo officials say Soren poses no threat to humans or pets, they advise people not to approach or attempt to handle him as he is timid of strangers.

Anyone with information on Soren's whereabouts is asked to call Zoo Atlanta Security at 404-624-5670.
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