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Media Alert
YRMC Working to Relocate Owls

(July 23, 2013 – Yuma, Arizona) Yuma Regional Medical Center is working with Arizona Game and Fish Department and non-profit organization Wild At Heart to relocate an estimated 25 Western Burrowing Owls. This protected species of owls must be moved in order to progress with improving the medical facility for the community.

The Western Burrowing Owl is the only known owl that lives underground and is especially affected by land development. They do not dig their own burrows, but inhabit underground spaces abandoned by other animals. As the community and state continue to grow, the Western Burrowing Owl faces challenges that affect its natural habitat.

Yuma Regional Medical Center is committed to protecting the Western Burrowing Owl and to minimizing the impact of the relocation on the birds. Wild At Heart, located in Cave Creek, Arizona, is a raptor rescue facility, specializing in the relocation of burrowing owls. Founders of Wild At Heart, Bob and Sam Fox, and a team of volunteers annually rescue and care for approximately 400 to 600 owls, hawks and falcons.

"By taking cautious measures to relocate the Western Burrowing Owls, we hope to ensure the survival of this protected species," said Pat Walz, CEO.

Burrowing Owl Relocation Facts, www.wildatheart.org

  • Approximately 6500 artificial burrows have been created throughout Arizona for over 2200 burrowing owls.
  • Captured owls are cared for by volunteers for a minimum of 90 days. This includes 60 days at the Wild At Heart facility and 30 days at the new location site.
  • A transitional period is necessary in order to break a burrowing owl’s bond with its former habitat.
  • Permits must be obtained prior to the owls being trapped and relocated.

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