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Naperville Woman Adopts Permanently Injured Owl at Willowbrook Center

“I said ok that’s it, I’m adopting this owl.”

While Naperville resident Sandy Youngstrom was looking at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s “Adopt an Animal” page, she knew Andre the great horned owl was the one she needed to help.

Andre the Great Horned Owl

Andre has lived at the Willowbrook Wildlife Center since 2005. He was found along I-90, believed to have been hit by a car. He lost sight in his right eye which means he couldn’t be returned to his natural habitat.

“I’m so lucky and so fortunate and we’re so grateful to have the wonderful forest preserve district that we do and this facility that can take in these animals that have been injured,” said Youngstrom. “I just had to do it, I had to do it. There was no stopping me. I probably would have donated more, it was just such a great feeling.”

By adopting Andre in February, Youngstrom ensured that the beautiful bird would continue to receive the food, medical attention, and enrichment he needs for a year. Though Youngstrom hasn’t been able to meet her feathery friend yet, she plans to soon.

Wildlife Enthusiast

Andre may not be at home with her, but the wildlife enthusiast still gets visits from birds, geese, and squirrels with the 10 bird feeders she has up. “It’s just so fun to watch them all out there together,” said Youngstrom.

Youngstrom also has a rescued cat, Akasha. Whether it’s at home or through the wildlife center, she believes it’s our responsibility to help.

“They need care because we’ve encroached on their home,” said Youngstrom. “So if I can do one thing to help one animal, then hopefully that will lead to other people doing the same thing.”

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.


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