Three baby great horned owls have created quite a stir in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood after taking up residence in a tree by a Walgreens.
Now, they're getting a new home.
The Colorado Division of Wildlife confirms that the owls are being moved to the Ellicott Wildlife Rehab Center. Officials went to the tree Tuesday morning and were able to quickly remove them.
For the last several days, crowds of people gathered at the corner of Centennial and Vindicator to catch a glimpse of the owl family. Some told 11 News that the fact that the owls took up residence in their neighborhood was very special, as the area had been through a lot after the Waldo Canyon Fire.
However, some people were getting much too close for comfort, trying to climb the tree to get an up-close look at the owl babies. Others were obstructing traffic by walking into the middle of the street to see the owls. Springs police were forced to put up barricades to prevent spectators from getting too close to the owls and stressing them out.
11 News spoke with Division of Wildlife spokesman Michael Seraphin to address concerns many viewers have had about the owls' removal, namely the idea that they are being removed from the wild to live in captivity. Seraphin said this is not the case; the owls are being rehabilitated, and will be re-released once the rehab facility deems them ready. While in rehabilitation, they will be fed and given a surrogate parent.
Seraphin said the rehab center likes to release animals back into the area they came from, meaning when they are considered ready, the owls will likely become residents of the Mountain Shadows area once again.