Baby owls take flight

One of the owl triplets treated at Werribee Zoo. (Werribee Open Range Zoo)

Three young owls are back in the wild after recuperating at Werribee Zoo for more than two months.

The trio were found in the hollow of a tree that had been cut down on the Bellarine Peninsula.

A wildlife carer took the birds to the zoo for a full health check under anaesthetic.

They weighed just 300 grams each and had a full examination, including blood tests and X-rays.

For the next nine weeks they lived in an enclosed space that simulated a tree-like hollow and were fed a wild diet so they could gain strength.

They were then taken to a specially-designed aviary near Torquay to help them adjust back to life in the wild.

Werribee Open Range Zoo Veterinary Nurse Layla Merritt said hand-raising the birds was critical to their survival because owlets needed at least 14 weeks of care before being strong enough to leave their nests.

“I was incredibly proud to see what beautiful birds they have beco me,“ Ms Merritt said.

It’s believed their parents took flight after losing their home.

Ms Merritt asked anyone considering removing old trees to check whether any animals were living inside the wood.

Anyone who sees an owl in distress is asked to keep their distance and contact Wildlife Victoria.