Papa G’Ho came to the Wildlife Center from Henrico County, Virginia, in December 2001. He had sustained injuries to his feet and wings, likely after he was struck by a vehicle. Despite rehabilitation, Papa G’Ho never regained his ability to fly silently, which is critical to the hunting success of owls in the wild. Because noisy flight would inhibit his ability to survive independently, he cannot be released back into the wild. Though he is unable to return to the wild himself, Papa G’Ho plays a very important role at the Wildlife Center as a surrogate parent for any young, orphaned Great Horned Owls that we admit. After their initial examination and treatment, young owlets are moved into Papa G’Ho’s enclosure, where he helps them hone their hunting abilities and develop natural owl behaviors. Our staff takes great care to keep Papa G’Ho from becoming comfortable around humans – by keeping him “wild,” we can ensure that the owlets he raises will survive, and thrive, on their own.
"Papa Bird Nurtures Dozens of Injured Owlets", WAMU 88.5 Radio