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Sophia the rescue owl comes to Ponoka Jubilee Library

Special treat coming up in July at the library with a visit from Sophia the owl.

Medicine River Wildlife Center and ‘Sophia’ the Great Grey Owl will be visiting Ponoka Jubilee Library on Tuesday July, 26 from 10:30-11:30. This is part of the ‘Wild’ themed Summer Reading Club, and the program is focused for ages five to seven, but all children in the community are invited to come to the presentation. They will be introduced to the concept of wildlife rehabilitation through pictures, storytelling, and ‘Sophia’, the great grey owl.

Sophia joined the education program in 2013. She was admitted into the hospital after being hit by a vehicle and sustaining non-repairable eye and brain damage. Her disability will keep her in captivity for the rest of her life but also makes her unafraid around people. She sits calmly, allowing the audience to observe and appreciate her. Jackie has met her, and she is a beautiful and serene animal.

The Medicine River Wildlife Centre is a registered charity and their hospital and education programs are supported by donations. They feel that educating the public about wildlife rehabilitation and respect for nature is critical for the future of our planet. If you are able to provide a cash donation to them on the day of the presentation, it would be much appreciated (but not necessary), or feel free to bring any of the items on their wish list such as animal feed (chicken scratch, mixed seeds, poultry diet, trout pellets and frozen berries), hospital/animal care (oil of oregano, Vetwrap, syringes, vet scissors, and gloves), office and kitchen supplies.

We had Medicine River Wildlife Centre at the library approximately four years ago, and they brought their other education animal Otis with them at that time. He was a huge hit with all the children, and the presentation done by the rehab team was great. We hope everyone is able to come join us that day, but if not you can always head out to the rehab centre sometime this summer to check out their nature trails.

If yourself or your family are really interested in wildlife rehabilitation and birds of prey such as owls, hawks and eagles, head way south to Coaldale to check out the Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation visitor centre. It’s an amazing place where they help all different varieties of birds of prey, and you can see animals such as a bald eagle up close, get your picture taken holding an owl, or be greeted at the door by a baby barn animal hissing at you as it wanders untethered through the gift shop. It’s a great summer holiday adventure, go check out what our beautiful province has to offer.

Coming soon: ‘The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu’ by Joshua Hammer vividly captures the history and strangeness of Timbuktu in a fast-paced narrative that gets us behind today’s headlines of war and terror. Part reportage and travelogue, part intellectual history, part geopolitical tract and part out-and-out thriller, and it’s all true.