Nov 18

Cupid visits Dr. Oz in New York City

For those of you that are familiar with our presentation, The Secret Life of Predators, you may see a familiar face on your TV this week. Cupid, our North American Barn Owl, is going to be a national star. If you’ve ever been to our presentation, then chances are, Cupid left an impression, as he flies right over your head.

Recently, we took Cupid to the Big Apple to make a guest appearance on the Dr. Oz show. Why Dr. Oz? Well, as it turns out, owls have proved more beneficial to humans than you might know. We always tell people how great they are for farmers, as they eat mice and save money in crops and grains from being devoured. But did you know, owls are helping doctors and medical professionals diagnose and treat patients?

When an owl hears a noise, its pupil dilates ever so slightly. Researchers and medical professionals are using this principle to determine if non-responsive patients are actually unable to hear, or if they are just unable to respond. It’s pretty fascinating and Dr. Oz thought so too. So he invited Cupid on the show with Julie Scardina to talk about all the amazing medical abilities of animals.

When we got to the studio, Cupid had just a little bit of time to rehearse. At first, he was so overwhelmed with sights and sounds. He flew to Julie, but then, he got a little lost during his second practice flight and flew to a seat on the set. Animals always need to acclimate to new surroundings and practice doing things that are new. Owls also love to be up high and the studio had some really interesting microphone booms and spot lights to examine. He wasn’t in any danger and he seemed quite comfortable. However, the show must go on. We were able to climb a ladder and help him down, but after that there just wasn’t any more time for him to rehearse. We had to make a choice: to fly or not to fly. As Cupid’s trainer, It was a little nerve racking. We wanted Cupid to fly, but we also wanted to make sure he was ready. Knowing an animal’s limits is one of the things that come from relationship building and time. Fortunately, I trusted Cupid as much as he seemed to trust me. We decided it was up to him. It was all going to rest on Cupid’s courage during the taping.

If you want to know whether or not Cupid flew in the show, you’re going to have to watch. Check out the Dr. Oz show on Monday, November 21. The Dr. Oz Show is nationally syndicated; check local listings for the time and station in your area. To see more of what happened backstage, go to Dr. Oz’s website where you’ll find some more great footage not seen on the show.

Here’s a picture of Cupid checking out Time’s Square the night before. As you can see, he’s very, very invested in the stock exchange.

Busch Gardens' North American Barn Owl, Cupid, visits New York City