April 27, 2010 06:55 PM

When you think of owls, you generally imagine high-flying birds of prey soaring through the night sky. But a tawny owl in England, a 1-year-old named Troy, is changing the rules a bit.

Troy came to the Hawk Conservancy Trust of Hampshire, England, last spring. Rescued by a family who’d found him in the woods, he was hand-reared for a while, but soon became too big and boisterous to live in a house, Conservancy marketing manager Gale Gould tells PEOPLEPets.com.

Upon arriving at the Conservancy, handlers realized that Troy was, well, unable to fly high. “It’s not so much that he’s actually afraid,” Gould explains, “but he’d never actually had the experience of flying at any real height.”

Immediately, handler Garris Tonen was assigned to Troy’s case, and got to work on helping the timid owl soar. “Garris actually climbs into trees to encourage Troy,” Gould says. “It’s working very well.”

Though Troy’s previous owners had hoped he’d eventually be released, it seems that a life in the wild isn’t in the cards for this domesticated guy. But that’s definitely not a bad fate for this “lovely” bird. “He’ll be part of our educational program where he’ll go to schools and meet children, and will take part in our flying demonstrations,” Gould says. “He’ll be with us for 15 or 20 years, and his future looks bright.”

Read more about owls on PEOPLEPets.com:
3-Year-Old Handles Massive Owls at Scottish Family’s Falconry
Molly the Barn Owl Is a Worldwide Internet Sensation!

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