Missing owl returned to Fort Worth Zoo

Missing owl returned to Fort Worth Zoo

Credit: WFAA

A barn owl named Tito escaped from the Fort Worth Zoo Sunday afternoon after he flew away during an educational show. Zoo employees have been searching the immediate area and a nearby neighborhood for the bird. Zoo officials have notified residents to be on the lookout.

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by MARCUS MOORE

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WFAA

Posted on May 27, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 28 at 1:45 PM

FORT WORTH -- After flying away Sunday during an educational show, Tyto the barn owl was returned Tuesday to the Fort Worth Zoo.

A Fort Worth resident alerted zoo officials to the whereabouts of Tyto after she spotted jays making mobbing calls, or yelling loudly, at the white owl, read a statement released by Alexis Wilson, a spokeswoman with the zoo. The resident asked the zoo not to disclose her name or location.

Wilson said they brought food to the site where the owl was spotted and were able to coax Tyto to fly onto the glove of a zoo staff member.

Before the discovery, the search for the owl was under way in Fort Worth with officials asking residents to keep their ears open.

Tyto escaped from the Fort Worth Zoo Sunday afternoon after she flew away during an educational show. Zoo employees searched the immediate area and a nearby neighborhood for the bird.

Zoo officials notified residents to be on the lookout. Wilson said residents should listen up for any commotion among the other birds in their area.

"There's a couple species of birds that we're actually listening for -- crows and jays," she said. "They will mob animals that don't belong in their territories. So if you hear the crows making a lot of ruckus or you hear the jays yelling at something, it's typically they're yelling at another bird or a cat or something. So that's one of the things we've been listening for."

Tyto has been with the zoo for about three years and has participated in hundreds of shows. Zoo officials believe the bird will come back, and that it's not any danger.

Barn owls are native to the area and are relatively common. Officials say Tyto will have leather straps on her feet.

"She's a native owl, for one thing, so she'd be able to find food," said Kristen Garrett with the Fort Worth Zoo. "She's probably going to be hanging around looking for us, [and] what she's used to. She's used to getting fed here."

If you spot Tyto, contact the Fort Worth Zoo.

E-mail mmoore@wfaa.com

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