SPRINGFIELD — Clint Screechwood, a one-eyed screech owl from the Zoo in Forest Park, is on his way to being named Superb Owl of the Year in BonusFinder’s Superb Owl Awards.
The Superb Owl Awards is a contest run at bonusfinder.com that is inspired by the spike in accidental internet searches for ‘superb owl’ that occur every year in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, according to the website.
Mr. Screechwood was selected as one of the top 16 owls to compete in the Superb Owl Awards in a tournament-style voting system. In the first round, he was up against Grace, a rehabbed owl from Utica Zoo, before moving on to face Chili, another one-eyed screech owl from Birmingham Zoo. In the semifinals, he battled a southern white-faced owl from the San Diego Zoo.
Clint Screechwood is one of three non-releasable eastern screech owls that joined the Zoo in Forest Park during the winter of 2020. He and his two companions, Hooma Thurman and Jean-Clawed Van Damme, all live with vision impairments that prevented their return to the wild.
In addition to taking home the coveted title of Superb Owl of the Year, the zoo that is home to the winning owl will receive $5,000 in support of its mission, and one lucky voter will be randomly selected to win $1,000.
The Zoo in Forest Park is focused on education, conservation, and rehabilitation and works with wildlife rehabilitators across the country to provide permanent homes to animals that have been deemed non-releasable due to injury, illness, permanent disability, and other factors, much like these three eastern screech owls.
“We love showcasing the very special animals that call our zoo their home,” said Sarah Tsitso, executive director of the Zoo in Forest Park & Education Center. “Clint Screechwood epitomizes the important work we do here — caring for animals that would not survive on their own in the wild. Of course, we believe Clint is absolutely a superb owl. Now all we need is for the public to get out and vote for him.”
The link to vote for Clint Screechwood can be found on the Zoo’s website at www.forestparkzoo.org/learnmore, or by clicking www.bonusfinder.com/about-us/blog/the-superb-owl-awards. Voters must be 21+ to participate and need to input a name and email address to cast their vote. Participants can vote daily for their favorite owl.
The final round runs Jan. 26 through Jan. 31. The winning owl will be crowned on Feb. 1.