It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of our beloved resident ambassador Eastern Screech Owl, Derby.
Derby came to the Wildlife Medical Clinic as an adult in 2015 from a rehabilitation center in Kentucky (where she got her name from). She sustained a wing fracture that did not heal appropriately and thus made her non-releasable. Despite the obvious trauma that she went through, she was resilient and her calm personality made her an ideal candidate for an education program.
Over the last few years, Derby was a star member of our resident ambassador education team. She could be seen everywhere from daily walks with her trainers on the veterinary medicine campus to events with local schools, groups, and businesses, and even on local television. While occasionally grumpy, as all screech owls can be, she took to training and interactions with both our volunteers and the public naturally.
Unfortunately, over the Thanksgiving holiday, Derby rapidly deteriorated without recognizable clinical signs and quietly passed away. We waited to share this news to both allow our volunteers to grieve and to allow time for results from her necropsy (animal autopsy to return). As so often happens in wildlife medicine, her results were inconclusive, and we will never know the exact circumstances that lead to her passing.
Many of you have met our resident animal team over the years and have come to love and respect them as we do. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support during this time.
RIP, Derby. Missed but never forgotten.