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Missing barn owl being sought in area around Grand Rapids zoo

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A very uncommon sight locally -- a barn owl -- is on the run and being sought near the John Ball Zoo.

Early this week, one of the World Bird Sanctuary’s birds, a North American barn owl, took flight from the "Realm of Flight" bird show that the World Bird Sanctuary staff are doing during their residency at the John Ball Zoo.  The bird was spotted in the wooded area of the park up until Thursday, but no sightings have occurred since.

World Bird Sanctuary staff have been working to recover the bird through calls and observation throughout the grounds. They now believe the bird may have left the immediate zoo area.

They are asking that the general public be on the lookout for the owl in the surrounding area.

Barn owls are not commonly seen in Michigan and this individual is distinguished by the short pieces of leather on its legs, called jesses, and a yellow reward tag on one ankle.

It will be difficult to spot since barn owls are nocturnal, but if any local residents, birders or nature enthusiasts spot the owl, they are being asked to call JoHanna with the World Bird Sanctuary at (262) 441-9620.

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