TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Sally Garcia is no stranger to seeing wildlife around her property. Her most recent visitor? A great horned owl spotted dragging its wing along their fence.
Since coyotes are often spotted in the area Sally knew they had to do something. With the help of her husband they were able to coax the bird into a dog crate while waiting for the Tucson Wildlife Center.
“If it can’t fly it probably can’t eat, we just needed to take care of it. We have absolutely no experience but we couldn’t of been luckier getting it through in just two minutes,” said Garcia.
The owl is now at the Tucson Wildlife Center resting, and getting the care he needs. Veterinarian Dr. Kelsey Davies said they found a few injuries to his right wing along with some other cuts.
"He did have a few scabs or wounds in various places so we're just making sure he doesn't get a secondary infection. We'll kind of see how he progresses and how he does over the next few days and keep reassessing him as we go. Kind of like if you had a strain or sprain and you take it easy for a little bit and then he'll be moved to one of our larger flight pens." said Davies.
Once the owl has his strength back, he’ll be released back into the wild. In the meantime, Supervisor of Animal Care, Lou Rae Whitehead, said this is an important reminder in dealing not only with injured owls, but wildlife all together.
"They use their feet more than they use their mouth and so we tell people you can throw a blanket over it and then wear gloves to try and pick them up from the sides and put them in a box with a blanket on."
Because at the end of the day its not only about the animals safety, but yours as well. And you should only approach the bird if you feel comfortable.
"We usually have them send us a picture so we can see if it's going to be safe. We'll see how injured the animal is and we tell them we can get someone out there." said Whitehead.
Garcia said somebody did suggest they call an expert to have them trapped instead but were lucky the owl went into the cage in a matter of minutes.
Number to Tucson Wildlife Center: (520) 290-9453