The animal kingdom is rich, diverse, and stunning, to say the least. However, one particular animal has the beauty of the entire universe in the eyes!
Meet Zeus, the rescued blind Western Screech owl, with the most beautiful eyes you have ever seen!
This amazing animal has magnificent starry heavens shining in the gold-flecked eyes. Unfortunately, Zeus was rendered blind at a young age, and he has only around 10% of his vision.
Therefore, he cannot survive in the wild and hunt for himself, and has to remain at the Wildlife Learning Center in California, and cannot be released back in the wild.
Owls rely on their vision to be able to survive, and their complex eyes comprise between one and five percent of their total body weight!
His blindness adds to the unique patterns in his eyes, which resemble an intergalactic sky map.
Staff at the sanctuary have cared for him since he was rehabilitated in 2012 after he was found injured on a front porch in South California. He might have been attacked by a predator or has suffered a flying accident.
He now lives in a trunk on the filing cabinet next to the desk of the founder of the center, Paul Hahn.
The WLC staff named him after the Greek god of sky and thunder, due to his extraordinary eyes. Hahn explains that the owl “exudes a very peaceful presence and is very calm”. He adds that he has a” very big personality and exhibits a bit of a curious nature.”
The team says:
“In our combined 40-plus-years of working with wildlife, we’ve never seen anything quite like it. But he’s doing great! He still hangs out in the office with us every day and is otherwise completely healthy.”
The starry eyes of Zeus are a result of unique fibrin/blood pigment clots, but his general condition is a capsular cataract.
Yet, the wildlife team adds:
“But he’s doing great! He still hangs out in the office with us every day and is otherwise completely healthy.”
At WLC, he is fed daily and enjoys his protein-rich diet.
The team adds:
“We have seen people just about taken to tears when meeting this most special little owl. It’s remarkable that Zeus’ disability brings so much awareness, sensitivity, and concern for not just screech owls, but all types of wildlife, as well as the environment we share. Zeus is truly an ambassador … he’s a joy. It’s not just a responsibility for us to care for him, but a privilege.”