Two owls returned to the wild Wednesday after receiving treatment from the Letcher County wildlife rehab and education center.
The group has a federal permit to take in injured birds of prey and nurse them to a point where they are fit for wilderness survival. By reintroducing the birds at Whitesburg’s Mountain Heritage Festival for the second year in a row, organizers say they hope to educate the public on the ecological importance of the activity.
“One family of owl's eats thousands of mice in a year’s time. These animals are an intricate part of our environment. We don't really realize how important they are…and if we can just bridge that education gap there, it would be a big thing,” said Mitch Whitaker.
And that education component is what Whitaker along with others at the Center are hoping to achieve through these public demonstrations.
+The Center is funded by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.