Help Knoxville Zoo Find Lost Barn Owl

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Help Knoxville Zoo Find Lost Barn Owl

Posted: 07/26/2007
The bird show at Knoxville Zoo needs your help. One of the newest members of the bird show, a young barn owl, is lost. Knoxville Zoo staff would like area residents to be on the lookout for this much loved bird.

The barn owl, named Alfalfa, may have lightweight leather and nylon straps, called jesses, attached to his legs. These straps are used during training sessions. "He is a young barn owl who was in a training session for the bird show," said Evan James, curator of the bird show. "He flew into a tree during a routine exercise. The last time we saw him was Tuesday, July 24 around 11:45 p.m. in the Prosser Road area." Alfalfa was hand raised by zookeepers at Knoxville Zoo. As a result, he is very imprinted on people. However, Knoxville Zoo cautions residents that even tame animals can bite when threatened or scared. It is not recommended that residents attempt to capture the bird. "East Tennesseeans have been great supporters of the zoo and the Bird Show and now we need their help," said James. "We are asking people to look around and up in trees where you live and work for Alfalfa."

If you think you may have seen Alfalfa this week, please call Knoxville Zoo at 865-637-5331, ext. 300, 379, or 363.

Knoxville Zoo is located off exit 392 from Interstate 40 and is open every day except Christmas Day. The zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation and education. Currently, the zoo is open everyday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one hour before the zoo closes. Next-day admission is free after 3 p.m. For more information, call 865-637-5331 ext. 300 or visit