Does the Pittsburgh Zoo really have flying monkeys around? The answer is no, but the white, heart-shaped faces of barn owls have led some people to call them “monkey owls.” And the Pittsburgh Zoo certainly does have barn owls!
These interesting owls were once plentiful across Pennsylvania and other parts of North America. As owls that prefer open spaces, barn owls moved into barn lofts and the attics of old houses when many of the world’s forests were cleared to make room for cities and farms throughout the 20th century.
With the decline of farming in North America, however, barns and other shelters barn owls have typically utilized are also on the decline, which threatens these owls. The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is conducting a breeding program and tracking research to help bring back the population.
We can help owls by setting aside wilderness ares where they can live. Forests can be selectively cut to leave corridors of trees for wildlife. We can also enforce laws that protect owls from being hunted and senselessly killed. A wise old owl would say that by working together, we can build a promising future for owls the world over.
What other unexpected tibias about owls are waiting for you at the Pittsburgh Zoo? All we will divulge is that this zoo not only answers your questions, but has some games to offer, too!