A Florida burrowing owl, listed as a species of special concern, was just hours away from becoming a cruise ship stowaway on Saturday. Just before Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas was to depart Port Everglades for a tropical locale, the owl was discovered on the ship’s mini-golf course, on the upper deck. A Royal Caribbean crew member called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, FWC.
FWC Lt. David Bingham and a Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputy safely removed the pint-sized bird from the golf course. Bingham released the owl in an open field in western Broward County.
“Never in all of my 25 years with the FWC have I seen anything like this, and I have responded to some strange calls,” Bingham said. “I am very pleased the owl wasn’t injured and that we could get it back to a normal habitat.”