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Several sightings reported of missing Great Horned Owl from Baraboo zoo

The Ochsner Park Zoo is looking for two Great Horned Owls that went missing following an...
The Ochsner Park Zoo is looking for two Great Horned Owls that went missing following an overnight break-in.(Baraboo Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department)
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 3:02 PM CDT
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BARABOO, Wis. (WMTV) - The Baraboo Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department posted an update about a Great Horned Owl that went missing from the Ochsner Park Zoo after a break-in, saying Wednesday that she has been spotted several times throughout the past two weeks and is uninjured.

Linda was one of four animals that went missing after a break-in at the zoo during the overnight hours of June 7. Two otters, Mitch and Moe, were spotted by kayakers on the same day as the break-in and were located shortly after. Linda’s fellow owl, Jerry, was found safe three days after the break-in with two fractures in his wing.

The parks department said in Facebook post Wednesday that the last sighting of Linda was on Monday afternoon, where she was seen roosting in a tree above a new llama barn.

Update on our missing Zoo owl (Linda) - She has been sighted several times in the last two weeks sticking near the zoo....

Posted by Baraboo Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department on Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The parks department said Linda is getting weaker, but she is still able to fly fully. This makes recapturing her a bit difficult. Officials will only be able to collect her once she is on the ground and unable to fly into a tree.

“However, we are happy to be able to observe her so we know she is still alive and uninjured,” the parks department stated. “It’s highly unlikely that she will travel outside of the park and surrounding neighborhood, so if you see an owl elsewhere, it’s probably not Linda.”

Zoo staff published tips on June 9 for how to tell apart wild owls that roam the area from the ones missing from the Baraboo zoo.

Anyone who is near the Ochsner Park Zoo grounds and sees an owl on the ground should call the Baraboo Police Department’s non-emergency line at 608-356-4895, as it may be Linda.

According to Ochsner Park Zoo specialist Ellen Gallagher, police believe the suspect or suspects’ primary motivation in the break-in was to release the animals. Multiple other cages were opened when staff arrived at the zoo on June 7, but the animals in other cages were still present.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for Friends of the Baraboo Zoo to raise money to buy security cameras for the zoo.

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