Dakota the owl rescued, returned home to the Wildlife in Need Center

OCONOMOWOC -- Dakota the educational Great Horned Owl is home safe at the Wildlife In Need Center in Oconomowoc. Dakota had been stolen from the center about three weeks ago.

The owl was rescued by staff about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday from a deck in Waukesha County.

Staff searching for Dakota confirmed his presence at a site on Monday. Then around 6 a.m. Wednesday, the staff was called back to the site. When they arrrived, Dakota was there. When the staff members approached him, he startled and flew away. They noticed the owl was noticeably impaired. After only an hour of monitoring and shadowing, Dakota was rescued and is now back at the Wildlife In Need Center.

Dakota got medical treatment when he returned to the center. He's very thin and dehydrated. He is also quite weak as evidenced by both his physical condition as well as his observed behavior since first sighted Wednesday morning.

Right now, Dakota is being kept quiet, resting and recuperating from his over 3 week ordeal. "It's a kennel-type enclosure. So that he doesn't have a whole lot of room to move around. We don't want him expending a lot of energy. He's had enough of that. Until he's healthy obviously," said Mike Guzniczak, center executive.