Orphaned owl released into the wild near South Mountain after being cared for by Liberty Wildlife

Friday made the perfect night for a young owl to be released back into the wild after it was orphaned and spend six months with Liberty Wildlife. 

Doris Pedersen handled a very special package at the base of South Mountain. Inside of that box, a young owl ready to be released into the wild. 

"Both mom and dad have to be there to care for baby and protect the nest so if one of them is injured or goes away we get them," said Doris Pedersen. a Liberty Wildlife volunteer. 

The female owl looked like a little white furball when she was found. She was raised by a foster for six months and taught to fly and hunt by volunteers at Liberty Wildlife.

"As they get older we put them in flight cages like the ultimate hunger games and once they can do that, instincts kick in and they go get their food," explained Pedersen. 

As Pedersen opened the box, the owl flew about 100 yards and perched herself on a rock to get a lay of the land. 

Mission accomplished for the volunteers of Liberty Wildlife. 

"It's one of the most exciting things we can do and a bit emotional too, it's like I had a part in saving that bird's life, it's very cool for us volunteers at Liberty Wildlife," said Pedersen. 

Orphaned owls are found more often than one might think. They are often found by APS and SRP crews. Either the eggs are laid in a dangerous spot or one or both of the parents disappear.