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Conservancy of Southwest Florida adds new animal ambassador, Olive the barred owl

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has announced the addition of a barred owl to its family of animal ambassadors.

Olive, an adult barred owl, was admitted to a Sarasota-area wildlife center in late 2017 before being transferred to the Conservancy for further examination. Unfortunately, Olive had sustained multiple injuries to the left wing that doctors considered permanent, leaving the owl unable to fly.

“Although unable to live in the wild, Olive is already becoming a star on our animal ambassador team,” said Dr. Heather Skaza Acosta, Conservancy of Southwest Florida Education Director. “Our ambassadors serve a vital role in helping to educate visitors about a species, and having Olive at the von Arx Wildlife Viewing Pavilion  provides guests with an up-close connection to the species with whom we share our home.”

Barred owls are robust with round heads, light yellow bills and dark brown eyes, and emit loud, piercing calls, almost like a scream. Their feather patterns alternate white and brown. Barred owls typically live in dense, mature forests or wooded habitats in both rural and urban areas, conducting much of their hunting at night.

Olive was named following a social media campaign this spring, and Conservancy staff revealed the name during the center’s Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 21.

Other ambassadors at the Conservancy include Horatio, a red-tailed hawk, and Aquila, a bald eagle, along with several alligators and multiple species of snakes, turtles, fish and more. The Conservancy, which has a goal of protecting the area’s water, land, wildlife and future, incorporates ambassador animals into its education program to inform Nature Center visitors about native and non-native species that call Southwest Florida home.

The Conservancy Nature Center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is $14.95 for adults and $9.95 for youth ages 3 to 11; children 2 and under are free. Basic family memberships start at $65.

About the Conservancy of Southwest Florida:
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is a not-for-profit environmental protection organization with a 50-year history focused on the issues impacting the water, land wildlife and future of Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Conservancy accomplishes this mission through the combined efforts of its experts in the areas of environmental science, policy, education and wildlife rehabilitation. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, world-class Nature Center and von Arx Wildlife Hospital are headquartered in Naples, Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, south of the Naples Zoo off Goodlette-Frank Road. Learn more about the Conservancy’s work and how to support the quality of life in Southwest Florida www.conservancy.org.

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