We’ve been working with the local authorities to rehabilitate and release several different species, among them a long-eared owl and a tatu (or armadillo). For this week’s Sunday Smile, we wanted to share information about their progress and how they were released.
The owl was found as a baby and, other than him being young and underweight, he was relatively healthy. We have a series of flight cages that we use to determine a bird’s ability to fly normally, hunt, and generally act as a bird should act in nature. Although there was no notable reason why, initially his weight declined slightly when put in the largest cage. We returned him to the smaller one and gave him some more time before shifting him to the next step. Once he was put in the larger flight cage again, he did very well, he gained weight, built up significant muscle, and had great flight control, so we released him. He has a really strong hunting instinct, so we believe he should do well. We actually saw him just last night, outside of the office gate, perched atop a tree, scoping out the area for food. He looks great.
As for the tatu, we’re not sure what caused his injuries, but he came to the rehabilitation program with a severe road rash. That’s not something that takes an extensive amount of time to heal, so he was only with us for a few weeks. Since we couldn’t find out where he was initially found, we released him towards the back of the property near some mango trees, which attract bugs that are delicious to armadillos, so he seemed ready to go and feast on what was available to him.
P.S.: If you’d like to learn more about GSE’s rehabilitation and release program, you can read up on our work on our website.