June 2002 – August 2010
Gale was hatched at the Centre and was named after the Centre’s director at the time. Gale was hand raised along side another owl so that he could become an ambassador owl. When gale was 2-3 months old, he was transferred to Alberta so that he could take part in their education program. Unfortunately he was not used enough and Gale “lost” his imprinting and was returned to SBOIC in 2003. Attempts were made to retrain Gale, but they were unsuccessful and Gale joined our “wild” flock as a permanent member until his death in 2010. Gale became a father in 2009 and one of those chicks grew up to become one of our ambassador owls, Georgie.
1999 – October 2010
Annabelle came to us from Reptile World in Drumheller, AB. Yes, that’s right Reptile World!!! Annabelle was a female Bull Snake that was added to our family in the summer of 1999 to help promote our Endangered Species, Endangered Spaces exhibit. During her time with us, Annabelle become a visitor favorite and helped us educate thousands of people about the importance of habitat protection and biodiversity here on the Canadian prairies. Even thought she was an imposing presence at 6 feet long, Annabelle was a real charmer! We still have visitors asking about her or sharing their stories about previous visits with our “golden’ girl. Sadly Annabelle developed a reproductive tumor which was causing her to become very ill and the decision had to made about whether or not to have her humanely euthanized. We sadly said good bye to Annabelle in the fall of 2010.
June 2003 – February 2011
Cookie came to SBOIC in the fall of 2004. He had been severely injured as a wild, young owl when he became tangled in a barbed wire fence during his first summer. The injury to one of his wings was so severe that he had to have most of the wing surgically removed. After he recuperated from his injuries, attempts were made to train him as an ambassador owl but Cookie proved to be as stubborn as he was strong and the attempts were unsuccessful so he was transferred to SBOIC where he became a permanent member of our “wild” flock. Cookie never let his disabilities limit him and because of this he quickly became a staff and visitor favorite. Cookie remained a fighter until his death in 2011 from age related complications.
June 1999 – July 2011
Spike joined the SBOIC family in the fall of 1999 after he recovered from injuries he received as a young, wild owl. Spike was found hung up on a barbed wire fence on a farm just outside of Moose Jaw. The damage from the barbed spikes of the fence severely damaged the flight ligaments of one of his wings and he was left permanently disabled. Spike was only able to fly very short distances after the injury healed and the veterinarians did not recommend him for release back into the wild, so he was transferred to SBOIC where he became a permanent member of our “wild” flock. During his time with SBOIC, Spike successfully raised several families and a fathered one of our first home raised ambassador owls, Piper, who shared his father’s unusual chocolate brown coloring!! Spike went on to live a rather astounding 12 years with us until he passed away from kidney failure in the summer of July 2011.
June 2004 – February 2012
Even though Sherman came to us as a young owl, he had already survived 2 traumatic incidents which left him unable to be released back into the wild. The first incident occurred in July 2004 when this little Burrowing Owl was struck by a vehicle as was hunting in the roadside ditches. Fortunately for him, the vehicle owners cared enough to stop and try to help him…although at the time this little owl did not know that was what they were trying to do and in his haste to escape he flew into a barded wire fence and became entangled!! Admiring his tenacity, the vehicle’s owners made good on their rescue attempts and took the injured little owl to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in Saskatoon, SK. The veterinary surgeons were able to repair this little owl’s wing with pins. Shortly after he was given the name of his rescuers and from then on he was affectionately know as Sherman. During his recuperation Sherman proved to be rather feisty and unfortunately pushed his rehabilitation a little too far and too fast and re-broke his wing causing a permanent injury that left him unable to fly. After he was completely healed (the second time!!!), Sherman was transferred to SBOIC and he joined our permanent captive flock in October 2004. During his time at the Centre many visitors became familiar with Sherman’s story and he became a favorite of everyone who saw in this little fellow the indestructible will to survive!! Sherman successfully raised several families while at the Centre and his offspring all shared their father’s spirit and that spirit serves Sherman well until the winter of 2012 when he was diagnosed with abdominal cancer. Unfortunately the cancer proved stronger than Sherman and the staff had to make a heart wrenching decision to have him humanely euthanized.
June 2009 – February 2012
George was one of three chicks that hatched during the summer of 2009 from the pairing of Gale and Zeus. At just 5 days of age, this little owl was picked to become one of the Centre’s ambassador owls!! The care and training of our newest protégé was seen to by the former director of the Centre, Janet Ng. This little owl was named in honor of the late George Davies, a native Moose Jaw resident who was very passionate about environmental and conservation issues, especially those surrounding the Burrowing Owls. Initially the staff assumed we had a little boy on our hands, but after the DNA results came back we were surprised to learn the “George” was actually a little girl!! So George officially became Georgie and she proved to be a fast learner and an extremely outgoing owl. She quickly became a favorite of the staff, and not long after her first public appearance, a crowd favorite as well!! Many school kids came to know Georgie as the pizza stealing owl after a staff member shared a story of how Georgie took it upon her self to steal a slice of pizza right out of that staff member’s hand during a lunch break when she happened to be in the office!! During her brief time with us at the Centre, Georgie met with thousands of people, children and adults alike, and she touched each and every one of them proving that she was indeed a true ambassador owl. Georgie left us far too soon after a brief and very sudden illness in February 2012. Even though she is gone now, she will live on in the hearts and memories of the many people who were fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to meet her. So next time you have a slice of pizza, take a moment to remember a little owl named Georgie who made a big difference!!