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Oklahoma State University
Center for Veterinary Health Sciences

Healthy Animals - Healthy People

Releasing Nora the Owl

Thursday, June 22 2017

ian and naudia with an owl

Naudia Oulliber of Oklahoma City was on hand to help veterinarians with Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences release a rehabilitated barred owl. Naudia is the great niece of Vicki Palmer, a grateful client and donor of the center’s Veterinary Medical Hospital.

Approximately five weeks ago, the owl was brought to the Hospital where Dr. Joao Brandao and his team treated the injured owl.

“We suspect she was hit by a car as she was found next to a road,” explained Brandao, assistant professor of zoological medicine. “She had an injury to her eye. She was also quite anemic meaning that she lost a significant amount of blood. We had to keep her for several weeks.”

Eventually the owl was well enough to be transferred from the hospital to one of the center’s flight cages.

“Her left eye is non-functional but she is able to see well from the right,” continued Brandao. “Since the owl’s facial disk is designed to direct sound towards the ear, owls can actually hunt without seeing their prey. That’s why we didn’t want to remove the eye, which would have affected the shape of the facial disk. She’s flying tremendously well and we’re ready to release her.

“While we have the birds with us, they have a number,” he added. “They do not have a name. We do not want to get attached to them. They are not our pets; they are a wild animal that needs to be released back into the wild. But we do try to come up with a name at the time of the release.”

Dr. Brandao asked Naudia to name the owl and she selected “Nora.” Naudia wore special gloves and as Dr. Brandao directed her, Naudia put her hands over Nora’s body while Ian Kanda, a registered veterinary technician at OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital, held Nora’s feet. Together Naudia and Ian released Nora and watched as Nora gracefully flew away into her natural habitat.

The hospital treats more than 500 wildlife cases a year. To support the veterinary medical care provided to these animals, contact Chris Sitz with the OSU Foundation at 405-385-5170 or csitz@osugiving.com.

Pictured above: Ian and Naudia with Nora the owl