Orlando – When Murray Miller found a great horned owl in his Manatee back yard, in distress and unable to hunt or eat, he knew exactly what to do. He contacted the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland.
Now Miller has enjoyed a reunion at SeaWorld Orlando with the wide-eyed creature dubbed Owlfred.
After months of rehabilitation at Audubon Center, owl experts determined that Owlfred could not successfully be returned to the wild because he is a human imprint; Owlfred does not interact with other wild owls in the way he should due to human contact.
So the Audubon Center and SeaWorld agreed to provide a long-term home for Owlfred at SeaWorld's SEA Garden. He'll be an animal ambassador there, interacting with park visitors and serving as a symbol of conservation efforts.
The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund has supported the rehabilitation work at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey for more than a decade and has provided a total of $145,000 in grants that are leveraged with donations from other major foundations.