Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Archimedes the Owl Moves to Alaska

( Photo: A pensive Archimedes in his mew at REGI.)

Archimedes, the Great-horned Owl, not the Greek Mathematician, has moved to his new home in Anchorage, Alaska. Affectionately known as ARC, he is the education bird of former REGI intern and employee Gina Javurek. After Gina graduated with her Masters Degree in June, she got a great job in Alaska. All we need to travel is an airplane ticket and you are good to fly. With native wildlife it is more complicated.

( Photo: Steve Fisher with a crabby Archimedes as they left REGI on his great adventure to Alaska.)

All native birds are held under permits with both the state in which they live and the federal government. ARC was good with all of his permits, but getting to Alaska took more time than anticipated.

He needed blood tests and cultures for WNV and a physical. And...all of the tests, physical and paperwork had to be completed within 30 days of the time he caught a plane. If it was over that thirty day period everything had to be done all over again. Summertime is dotted with time off for government employees as in vacations or annual leave. Let's just say that proved to be a complication in ARC trip north.

The first time around he was ready, the tests were great, the paperwork was ready but Alaska was not. In late May a very sad Gina had to leave for Alaska without ARC. Education birds are very close to their handlers and vice versa. Arc has been with Gina since he was a young bird. While he has good care at REGI, his routine was different, his enclosure was different and his handlers were WAY different than the person he knew so well.

( Photo: Steve and ARC as they left for the airport.)

It all worked out in the end however and on Monday August 24th, Steve Fisher drove ARC to Minneapolis to catch a plane to Anchorage. When we fly birds on commercial flights we pick the shortest possible plane ride and a direct flight. With that in mind Steve Fisher saved the day and drove the owl to Minneapolis. That is 4 hours each way from the REGI facility and was an important part of the trip.

( Photo: Gina and Archimedes in Anchorage, AK )

By Monday evening ARC and Gina were reunited. Gina sent us this photo shortly after he arrived. Gina is all smiles and I am pretty sure ARC is smiling too. ARC will remain in quarantine for 30 days. After that yet another round of tests will be taken and if he passes it all, he will be ready to do programs in his new state. His first programs in Alaska are scheduled near Halloween.

We are happy Gina and ARC are together again. Knowing them both as well as I do, I know they will do some great work and make Alaska proud to have them.

Have a great day everyone.
Marge Gibson 2009

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