Kennesaw State



After several years of discussing the concept of a live Owl to serve as the official mascot of Kennesaw State, the decision to move forward was finally made last spring. The live owl adopted by KSU was born April 8, 2013 in New York and will receive his name following a contest that will be launched in September. The owl will grow to six pounds with a wing span around five feet and can live up to 60 years.

The live owl is currently living at Winding Woods Ranch in Commerce, Ga., and is being trained by Daniel Walthers, who raised, trained and introduced the first live mascots “Rise” and “Conquer”, for the Baltimore Ravens in 2008 and 2009.

Currently being trained under the watchful eye of Daniel Walthers, the owl is being raised at Winding Woods Ranch in Commerce, Ga. Walthers has extensive experience training owls as he raised, trained and introduced the first live mascots “Rise” and “Conquer”, for the Baltimore Ravens in 2008 and 2009.

A native of Willmar, Min., Walthers has had a life-long passion for birds as he began working with parrots at the age of nine. He has even shared that love affair with his family as his wife of 27 years, Teresa, and two children, Christina (15) and Matthew (13), are involved with animals.

In addition to raising, training and selling various types of birds, Walthers also works with the American Saddlebred Show horses. He breeds, trains, boards and sells the horses that are from all over the world that are boarded in his barn that sits on the family’s 36-acre Winding Woods Ranch in Commerce, Ga.

Utilizing the Natural Horsemanship training techniques, Walthers stable of horses include the high-spirited American Saddlebreds, Warm Blood Dressage and Quarter Trail horses.

Well respected in the pet industry, Walthers works with veterinarian zoos, rehabilitation facilities, various animal trainers, breeders and customers from all over the continental United States. Over the past decades, he has manufactured and sold modular flights that were shipped all over the world to breeders, hobbyist, boarding facilities and rehabilitation centers. He also invented the original heated perch.

And now Walthers is tasked with training the live mascot of Kennesaw State. The great horned owl is the official owl of Kennesaw State, and the live owl that will be introduced at Kennesaw State is in the family of the great horned owl.


A Look at Kennesaw State Live Owl Trainer Daniel Walthers

KSU Live Great Horned Owl Mascot Growth Chart

Live Mascot

Kennesaw State Owl Continues Training

Kennesaw State Live Mascot – 6 weeks old – VIDEO

Kennesaw State Live Owl Training


  1. Tamara
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful and Congrats. Please keep us posted. Just Amazing 🙂 Cheers~

  2. Janet
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I just wanted to say thank you for your continued love and care of Sturgis! I was so excited to see him for the first time up close today on the Campus Green. He is absolutely gorgeous! You are doing a great job with him and I look forward to seeing him more in 2015.

    • Posted August 28, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Thank you! Handling Sturgis and being part of your wonderful university is a honor & a pleasure.

  3. Posted October 18, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Thank you !

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