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Wild Life in Need hopes for Dakota the owl's return before hunting season

Dakota, the owl who has suffered from much trauma since being taken from his cage at the Wildlife In Need Center (WINC) this past weekend, is taking his time coming down from a tree around Hunters Lake.

Staff at the center are trying to lure him down before hunting season starts next week. Lisa Rowe with WINC said that it is not safe for handlers to be walking around during hunting season, and that the center doesn't want to infringe on hunters' rights. 

However, everyone involved is hoping Dakota works up the courage to fly down to his familiar handlers who have been able to get his attention off and on by calling his name. He is checked on several times a day, but so far seems too afraid to move. Pre-killed mice are being used as bait to help coerce him down. 

“This all has been very scary for him,” Rowe said. 

If WINC is able to see that Dakota is indeed flying around, they may decide to use a live trap to capture him. 

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