Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Sadly, I must inform the followers of our blog that Acorn, our beloved eighteen-year-old red phase Eastern Screech Owl, passed away suddenly last week.

In the morning his caretakers noticed that he couldn’t stand and was breathing heavily.  After a few minutes he seemed to recover, but could not use his right leg very well.  He was immediately taken to our vet who found a large mass in his abdomen.  He had hardly any use of his right leg and had gone blind in one eye—we suspect from a blood clot.  As we considered the possibility of treatment he became so weak he could no longer stand.  In taking into consideration his quality of life we made the difficult decision to euthanize him.  Because of the “TLC” we gave him during his life, Acorn lived 6 times longer than a wild Screech Owl’s life span, which is about 3 years.

Acorn was one of our most popular birds—never failing to elicit a chorus of “Aaaaws!” when he would come onstage.  In addition to educating our audiences, he has helped to “train” hundreds of new staff, interns and volunteers, as he was one of the first birds these newbies would learn to handle.  His passing will leave a void in many lives here at WBS.

Acorn has educated millions of audience members in his eighteen year career with WBS and will be sorely missed by staff, volunteers and the thousands of visitors and audience members who looked forward to seeing him each year.

Submitted by Gay Schroer, World Bird Sanctuary Volunteer

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