Wildlife rehabilitation center Salthaven West are used to helping animals that get hit by cars, but they recently received an unorthodox call from a woman who hit a snowy owl.
The woman was driving in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada when the bird flew in front of her car.
The impact was so substantial that the woman thought the owl was dead. She kept driving for a bit until she decided to stop and check out the damage.
As Salthaven West later wrote on their Facebook page, “There was damage alright – and a Snowy Owl to prove it!”
The owl was stuck in the grill of the woman’s car.
Director Megan Lawrence was the first person on the scene from Salthaven West.
“It’s definitely common that owls and other wildlife get hit by vehicles, but this is the first time we’ve ever attended where one’s still been stuck inside the vehicle after being hit,” she later told CBC News.
When Lawrence arrived, she removed the owl from the grill and assessed the damage. “It was obvious that he was suffering from severe head trauma as well as a wing injury,” the Salthaven West Facebook post reads.
“The faster we get an animal for treatment, the better chance it has for recovery,” Lawrence said. “So I’m lucky I was just able to get over there right away and get him out.”
Lawrence brought the snowy owl to Animal Clinic of Regina, who confirmed Lawrence’s suspicion of a fractured wing. They bandaged the wing and monitored the owl’s concussion.
“Over the last 48 hours, he’s made great improvements,” Lawrence told CBC News.
“When we first got him, he spent a lot of time laying down and now he’s standing up all the time, which is a great sign.”
The staff at the Animal Clinic of Regina named the owl Tahoe. He’ll need to spend at least six weeks at the clinic until he’s ready to go back to the wild.
Days after the original Facebook post, Salthaven West posted an update video to Tahoe’s story. His swelling has gone down and his wing is on the mend.
Although it will still be a bit before Tahoe is back to normal, those involved are commending the woman who hit him for calling so soon.
If she didn’t find him right away, it could have meant his death.
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