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An owl that got on to a cruise ship just before departure had no choice but to go on the two-week cruise with the ship before it was captured.

The burrowing owl was on board the Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas and remained there for the duration of the cruise. The Symphony of the Seas is one of the world’s largest cruise ships.

Guests were constantly reminded of the owl’s presence as it perched on exit signs, rested on railings and peaked through planters.

Once the ship arrived back after the cruise, with the owl still on board, a biologist from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in Florida was contacted to capture the bird.

The biologist had just an hour to capture the owl before the ship had to depart on its next cruise, this time to Mexico.

Ricardo Zambrano struggled at first as passengers were disembarking and new passengers arriving. He ended up placing mist nets around the owl’s perch of choice.

It was third time lucky for the biologist as he called in the crew members to assist. The owl sat on a balcony on the 10th floor and crew members were asked to stand below and make noises to distract the bird.

Zambrano then snuck up behind the owl and safely netted it from the railing.

The bird is unharmed but was taken to South Florida Wildlife Centre for a check-up.

Image credit: The Independent

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