December 12, 2018 – Over the weekend, the staff and zookeepers at the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo suffered an incredible loss. Millie, the peregrine falcon, passed away.
In 2014, she was brought to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine after being shot by a pellet gun. The vets and technicians performed surgery to mend her broken right wing. The pellet, which was located dangerously close to her heart, could not be removed. She won everyone’s hearts over the four months she healed at the hospital. Vets deemed her unreleasable due to her injuries and reached out to the SF Teaching Zoo to give her a permanent home. Over the last three years, Millie was an amazing ambassador for her species. Not only did she inspire guests, but she impacted the lives of the zookeepers who cared for her. Her most recent trainer, soon to be graduate, Jennifer Peters, has many fond memories with her. “Millie was an amazing bird and I felt so lucky and proud to work with her.”
Millie’s training became integral throughout her time at the zoo as her medical issues continued to evolve. She would allow her trainer to check the bottom of her feet and talons, to weigh her and to ask her to step on a glove. “Our close relationship also made it easier to recognize when something was amiss,” Jennifer said. Unfortunately, Millie could not overcome her most recent issues, so with a heavy heart, it was decided to humanely euthanize her. The specific condition will not be known until test results are returned. Millie will be truly missed by zoo and vet staff.