October 23, 2020

Zeus, the Blind Owl With Stars in His Eyes

An owl with eyes that look like a starry night was found on a porch, the caring homeowners knew he needed help and sent him to a vet. After the visit, the blind owl found a new permanent home at the Wildlife Learning Center in Sylmar, California. This owl’s name is “Zeus”, named after the Greek god of sky and thunder because of his extraordinary, gold-flecked, stunning and big eyes filled with the beauty of the cosmos.

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then Zeus has the entire Universe within his soul because his eyes contain galaxies, they reflect the very universe we live in – the wondrous starry heavens that shine on every clear night. He is a Western Screech-owl and was rendered blind at a young age. He has only around 10% of his vision, so he cannot be released back into the wild and so stays at the Wildlife Learning Center in California where he receives a lot of TLC.

The team who have cared for Zeus since he was rehabilitated in 2012, said: “In our combined 40-plus-years of working with wildlife, we’ve never seen anything quite like it. But he’s doing great! He still hangs out in the office with us every day and is otherwise completely healthy.

His starry eyes are the result of clots of protein and blood pigment, but he also has cataracts. His condition is probably the result of an attack by a predator, but it’s possible he also had a flying accident. So, because of his eye condition, he can’t be released back into the wild, or hunt for himself, so the team at WLC is happy to help out, he gets fed daily and loves the protein-filled menu.

They said: “We have seen people just about taken to tears when meeting this most special little owl. It’s remarkable that Zeus’ disability brings so much awareness, sensitivity, and concern for not just screech owls, but all types of wildlife, as well as the environment we share. Zeus is truly an ambassador … he’s a joy. It’s not just a responsibility for us to care for him, but a privilege.

Zeus has a toy friend and loves Halloween and he is very friendly and loves to be near people, so if you’re ever in California, be sure to visit him and his friends in the Wildlife Learning Center because he is now a full-time resident there and brings happiness to every visitor.