He grew up in Schönbrunn Zoo, but his future home will be the Lower Austrian forests. A small owl that hatched in the Vienna Zoo on March 25th has now embarked on a great adventure. In an aviary in the middle of the Dürrenstein wilderness area, he is being prepared for his life in the wild. “The Ural Owl was exterminated around 150 years ago in Austria. We have been poaching the offspring from zoos and bird stations since 2009. This is an extremely important cooperation. Together we keep this endangered owl in human care and ensure that the Ural Owl returns to our local forests in the long term, ”explains Richard Zink from the Austrian Ornithological Institute of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. Since the start of the project, 41 owls have been who hatched in the Schönbrunn Zoo, were relocated. There are now 30 breeding pairs in Austria's forests.
Iris Starnberger, research assistant at the zoo: “If we protect the Ural Owl and its forests, we also protect many other, lesser-known species, such as the white-backed woodpecker and the hazel grouse. The owl needs old trees to nest. In areas where these are rare, nest boxes are installed. We are proud to finance the production, assembly and annual inspection of 15 pieces. ”In Schönbrunn, a new aviary for owls was only opened in February. The young breeding pair that moved in here successfully raised offspring in the first year. In the next few weeks your young animal will be flying through the forest. Initially, it will remain near the release site and will be fed. By autumn the little owl will develop into a successful mouse hunter and then live independently. However, a ring on the foot ensures that the project team members can always be identified as “Schönbrunn” owls.