‘Ori, it sounds cool:’ Owl chick hatches at Cincinnati Zoo

‘Ori, it sounds cool:’ Owl chick hatches at Cincinnati Zoo
Ori is being hand-raised by the bird team, and in just two weeks it has tripled in weight. (Source: Michelle Curley (Cincinnati Zoo))

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Named Ori, the Verreaux’s eagle-owl hatched on March 12 and is now the new member of the Cincinnati Zoo family.

You might be asking; how did they decide on the name Ori? It was a fascinating process actually.

Ori was chosen because it sounds cool. Most would probably agree that it does.

“Ori was selected because it simply sounds cool. Naming birds is like naming a band or song. We look for something that is memorable, sounds cool, and we can easily say to audiences thousands of times throughout the life of this bird,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s lead bird trainer Eddie Annal. “Ori was added to the pool because it is the name of a video game that features owls. The name originates from Hebrew and means light.”

Ori was in fact the winner of the Zoo’s bracket-style name tournament. Each member of the bird team was able to choose a name they liked.

Votes were tallied and eventually, Ori emerged the winner.

Ori is being hand-raised by the bird team, and in just two weeks it has tripled in weight.

Right now, Ori weighs 245 grams and could be 10 times that weight in just a few months, the Zoo says.

“Rapid growth is expected and normal for this species, which is the largest owl in Africa,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s curator of ambassador animals & outreach Meredith Hughes. “It weighs 245 grams now and might be 10 times that big in a couple of months. If it’s a female, it could be even bigger.”

The Verreaux’s eagle-owl, also known as the milky eagle owl, has powerful, strong, sharp talons on each toe, the Zoo says. The power combined with the force of impact that owls can achieve means most prey of any size is killed instantly upon impact.

Visitors can learn about the Verreaux’s eagle-owl here and will be able to see Ori in the Wings of Wonder Bird Encounter sometime this summer.

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