Update on Dakota the owl, rescued after three weeks in wild

OCONOMOWOC --The Wildlife in Need Center has released an update on Dakota the Great Horned Owl, after the owl was rescued about one week ago. Center officials say Dakota has undergone three veterinary examinations, and remains quiet and lethargic compared to his behavior before he was taken from the Center and spent three weeks in the wild.
The Center announced Tuesday that Dakota was examined Monday, and blood was drawn, with mostly positive results. Officials were given the green light Monday to begin re-introducing solid foods into Dakota's diet, though they say they are treading with caution, as Dakota still has a debilitated system, and his body's reaction to solid food is still a potential threat. Dakota began receiving a liquid diet on Saturday, December 10th.

Center officials say during Dakota's three weeks in the wild, he lost 27 percent of his body weight, eliminating not only his fat reserves, but also moving on to deteriorate his muscle tissue as well. A veterinarian who performed an examination on Dakota the day he was rescued determined Dakota is slightly anemic, and dehydrated. The veterinarian also performed a fecal test, which ruled out any potential parasites that his already weakened system would need to fight off during his recovery.

The Center says thousands are wishing Dakota well in his recovery.

Police say two teens, 17-year-old Dilan White, and 18-year-old Matthew Kuhlemeyer are accused of taking Dakota from the Wildlife in Need Center. Officials tracked the teens down after one of their friends posted a picture of the owl on Facebook. The teens say Dakota flew away when they were at a friend's house in Dousman.

Dakota is 11 years old, and has always lived in captivity.