Several months ago, an injured Great Horned Owl was brought to Busch
Gardens in Tampa after being struck by a car. The bird unfortunately
suffered a broken wing and was unable to fly. Busch Gardens'
veterinarian, Dr. Black helped to save the bird's wing by performing
several operations involving inserting a pin into the humerus bone,
which was shattered from the accident. For several weeks following
the surgeries, the Animal Care Center at Busch Gardens rehabbed the
bird and nursed it back to health.
Local Bird of Prey Specialist, Barb
Walker, heard about the injured owl and contacted the staff at
McGough Nature Center in Largo. She was very familiar with the
incident that happened over a year ago, where the center's Great
Horned Owl, J.R. was released from his cage overnight by vandals and
was unable to be recaptured. Eager to have a new Great Horned Owl,
McGough Nature Center gladly accepted to continue to care for the
The owl will be getting a new home at
McGough, thanks to Troop 135 Eagle Scout candidate, Casey Sammel. The
$1,400 needed for construction materials has generously been donated
by the Clearwater Audubon Society. The enclosure will be built over
the next few weeks with the help of Troop 135 and will be placed
outside next to the existing cage at McGough Nature Center that
houses the Barred Owl, Matilda.
While the owl gets
comfortable with his new environment, McGough is asking the community
to help give this little guy a name (DNA testing has conformed it to be a male). All names can be submitted through June 22, 2012. The list of names
will be narrowed down to the top five and then posted on Largo's
Recreation, Parks and Arts Facebook page (www.facebook.com/playlargo)
for fan voting. The name with the most votes wins!
The owl can be viewed daily at
McGough Nature Center (11901 146th St N, Largo 33774)
during the center's operating hours. For additional information, call