Rescued owl making a recovery

A great horned owl rescued after getting tangled in a barbed wire fence is on the mend. Jan Bell found the bird southeast of Red Deer on Friday and managed to free it with the help of Kevin Lundie.

Jan Bell

A great horned owl rescued after getting tangled in a barbed wire fence is on the mend.

Jan Bell found the bird southeast of Red Deer on Friday and managed to free it with the help of Kevin Lundie.

The owl suffered a number of puncture wounds to its right wing as it tried to free itself from the fence.

Now at the Medicine River Wildlife Centre, near Spruce View, the bird has started back on solid food, feasting on a pocket gopher on Sunday night for the first time since it was injured.

Carol Kelly, executive director and founder of the Medicine River Wildlife Centre, said the bird’s wing is warm, meaning blood is still circulating well through it.

“There is a lot of muscle damage and there is probably about an inch of bone by the elbow area that is showing, so it’s going to be some time for that skin to grow over and for him to get that muscle tone back to be able to fly,” Kelly said.

The owl was given Pedialyte to help rehydrate him on Friday and then moved on to a high protein substance known as Nutri-Cal. He is still receiving antibiotics to fight any possible bacterial infections, B vitamins to build up red blood vessels and a Chinese herb known as Yunnan that helps blood to clot and stems internal bleeding. Once his wounds heal over the owl will be able to join 13 other great horned owls in an outside flight cage to regain his strength. It will likely take a month or two for him to recover.

Kelly said barbed wire can take a large toll on wildlife, particularly owls because they hunt low to the ground. She encouraged people when they are replacing old fences or putting up new ones to consider barbless, high tensile or other options for fencing.

Bell saw the bird, driving into work, as she got off Hwy 590 onto Hwy 816. She freed it with the help of Kevin Lundie, who stopped to help. Bell got to see the owl in better shape when she visited the centre on Sunday.

She is raising money for the centre, posting a note to her friends and family on her Facebook account encouraging them to contribute to the Medicine River Wildlife Centre, and putting a jar at the dog daycare she uses, 4 Paws Dog Daycare, that reads: “Give a loonie for hootie.”

Bell’s rescue of the bird was all the more impressive because she has a phobia of owls. It stems from when she was a child and her aunt had an owl clock. When she was little Bell was told the owl would get her if she didn’t eat her vegetables.

Bell is just about over her fear now. On her visit to the centre on Sunday, the great horned owl flapped its wings at Bell to let her know the pocket gopher was his, and it didn’t faze her.

Just Posted

Springbrook Skate Park gets financial boost

Province approves $125,000 grant for proposed skate park

ReThink Red Deer gets thumbs up from city on pollinator barn structure

Group is hoping to get a $40,000 building grant

Driver who backed into Red Deer pizzeria sentenced

David Andrew Amstutz sentenced for failing to remain at the crash scene

Team Alberta athletes arrive in Red Deer on Saturday for pre-games orientation

Excitement is building with less than a month to go, says Team Alberta spokesperson

UPDATED: STARS Lottery is back

Lacombe STARS patient tells his story

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Most Read