Two employees at the Calgary Zoo have been disciplined after a review found that they were responsible for the death of a great grey owl.

On Sept. 26, two employees were transferring the owl from one holding area to another inside the Animal Health Centre.

During the transfer, the bird flew into the connecting gate and sustained fatal injuries.

After an investigation, it was found that the two keepers had not taken all the precautions necessary to ensure the safety of the animal.

An eight week disciplinary process has now wrapped up against the two keepers.

There is no information on any action taken.

The zoo says that the two handlers have accepted responsibility for the incident.

“While we safely transfer hundreds of animals every year from one area to another within the zoo and to and from other facilities, it is never acceptable to view these procedures as routine,” said Dr. Jake Veasey, director of Animal Care, Research and Conservation. “We have many exceptionally skilled, dedicated and experienced animal keepers, but we cannot tolerate complacency from any staff member where it may lead to the suffering or death of an animal in our care. Our priority is first and foremost the long-term well-being of our animals and we will take whatever action is necessary to achieve that.”

Veasey says the handlers are devastated by the loss of the owl and that all employees can take the time to learn something from the incident to prevent more tragic accidents in the future.

The zoo says that the animal-handling protocols are well-established and all employees are thoroughly trained.

A management team at the zoo regularly reviews these protocols to reduce the possibility of injury to either animals or employees.