In less than five minutes, two rehabilitated great horned owls were released Tuesday back into the wild after being abandoned and located at the fairgrounds arena several months ago.

Kelley Shutts, senior wildlife care specialist at the Texas State Aquarium and her team nursed both juvenile owls until they were ready for their habitat through the Aquarium's Second Chances Wildlife Rehabilitation program since April.

“They learned how to hunt and were released tonight,” Shutts said. “There's a lot of good habitat out there.”

Shutts first went out into the field next the to Richard M. Borchard Regional fairgrounds to determine where the owls would be released. She decided a pond nearby with some small trees was the best location.

The owls peeped through the cage, but within a few minutes, one flew out of the cage quickly flapping its wings and disappearing into the sky. The second followed as they were returned to the wooded area as it is always best to return animals to their original habitat. 

“It was great to work with, and we are grateful to, the Texas State Aquarium in helping save the horned owls. The horned owls have become over the years a wonderful fixture of the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds,” said Global Spectrum’s General Manager for the fairgrounds, Jason Green.

Shutts said the owls are common throughout the United States.