A Eurasian eagle owl named Gladys that went missing after flying away earlier this month is dead, the Minnesota Zoo confirmed last week.
The zoo said last Tuesday that the animal "flew off to a tree and didn't return" during a "routine training session" earlier in October. Staff members tried tracking the owl, the zoo said at the time, adding that Gladys did not "pose a threat to public safety and we are proactively working with local wildlife agencies and authorities to assist in the search."
The Minnesota Zoo instructed anyone who saw a bird that resembled their owl to notify the police.
On Thursday, however, the zoo announced that Gladys had been found injured that morning, located "on the side of the road" where a "concerned neighbor" helped her and took her to the zoo.
An update on Gladys, the Eurasian eagle owl. pic.twitter.com/TvpmT3aZXH
— Minnesota Zoo (@mnzoo) October 14, 2021
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"Our veterinary team responded immediately but, sadly, Gladys had already died. We'd like to thank the community for the tremendous outpouring of support and information they provided to aide in the search for Gladys," the zoo said.
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They added, "For the last five years, Gladys has been a beloved ambassador of her species in the bird show. The Animal Care team hand-raised her from a chick, and worked with her daily. This is a difficult day for our team. Whenever an animal dies, we feel the impact of that loss as a Zoo community."
Zach Nugent, the Minnesota Zoo's communications specialist, told the Star Tribune, that Gladys was a "star" at the zoo: "People got to know her over the years. It really elicited a unique bond that isn't always there with other animals that visitors see at the zoo."