APPLE VALLEY, Minn. — The Minnesota Zoo is searching its grounds and asking for the public's help after one of its owls flew the coop.
Zoo officials say a Eurasian eagle owl named Gladys flew off into a tree during a routine exercise and training session on Oct. 1.
"She hung around for several days, close by, but then she started wandering further and further away," said Director of Animal Collections Tony Fisher.
Staff have been tracking her around the Zoo's heavily-forested grounds and think she's probably still there. However, the Zoo is asking for the public's help in keeping an eye out for the large missing fowl.
"She would stand out," said Fisher. "If you see her, she’s going to be the largest owl you’ve ever seen."
The owl is one of the largest in the world and hails from Europe and Asia. It has piercing orange eyes and a wingspan of up to six feet. Gladys is five, and despite being raised in captivity, can still survive Minnesota's pending cold.
"She’s using her instincts right now to survive and if there’s an owl that can survive in the wild, it is her," Fisher said.
In a post to the Zoo's social media accounts, staff said Gladys doesn't pose a threat to public safety. The Zoo is working with local wildlife authorities to find her.
If you see a bird that looks like Gladys, the Zoo is asking you to call your local police department.
According to conservation nonprofit The Peregrine Fund, Eurasian eagle owls like Gladys can live up to 20 years in the wild.
This post from the Minnesota Zoo's Twitter account shows another Eurasian eagle owl, Orville, in flight.
If you think you see Gladys, don't try to capture her. Besides local police, you can also contact the Minnesota Zoo.
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN 55124