For two lovebirds, this Valentine’s Day week held a rather extra-special occasion.
On Wednesday morning, Temple University’s live mascot, Stella, said “I do” to her longtime sweetheart, the big-eyed Sherlock, whom she’s lived alongside for the last seven years at the Elmwood Park Zoo.
The two great horned owls hosted a casual backyard wedding at their Norristown home, officiated by longtime pal Noah, the bald eagle mascot of the Eagles.
“She was very demanding, and luckily everything turned out great, and it was all up to par for Stella’s tastes,” says maid of honor and Elmwood Park Zoo educator Rebecca Oulton, who refers to Stella as a “big diva” in a video capturing the special day.
Little Munchkin, an eastern screech owl who also lives at the zoo, served as flower girl, while fellow eastern screech owl Zeppelin played the role of a flower boy.
Stella and Sherlock are rescued birds that were rehabilitated and cannot be released back into the wild.
“They now each serve as ambassadors of their species and help to educate kids about the natural world,” says Laura Houston, director of education at Elmwood Park Zoo.
Houston notes that the two both have bold personalities, and while you’ll never find them cuddling, once nighttime falls, Stella and Sherlock spend much of their time hooting back and forth at one another.
Temple has officially declared their lifelong anniversary date as Owlentines Day.
[Cover photo taken by Betsy Manning/Temple University Photography]