Wildlife Center Offers Update on Rescued Wareham Owl
A little while back, we told you about a great horned owl rescued in Wareham after being sprayed by a skunk and injuring his leg. It was the same owl that was rescued by the very same person about a year and a half earlier with an eye injury that caused him to lose the eye.
Needless to say, this owl has had lots of luck on its side, and it looks like it will soon get a third chance at living life out in the wild.
The New England Wildlife Center posted on Facebook last week that the owl will be released back into the wild once his leg injury heals.
“We are hopeful this procedure will give him a second chance, excuse me third, chance of life in the wild,” the Wildlife Center posted to Facebook. “The fact he was able to survive over a year with one eye does show he was compensating well so we are confident he will continue to thrive when his leg heals.”
The center explained the original decision to return the owl to the wild following the loss of his eye.
“Fortunately adult owls can still be released with only one eye if they can pass all of our tests to show they are able to compensate. As nocturnal hunters they do not rely on vision as much for prey location but rather hearing,” the center wrote, noting that the owl required months of healing before being released.
However, the center also provided an interesting fact about owls: that they have a poor sense of smell, which is why they prey on skunks.
“We think he might have gone after one that fought back,” the center wrote. “A direct hit of skunk spray to the face can result in temporary blindness, vomiting, and even seizures. While he is also being assessed for other infectious diseases, we believe based on how potent he smelled he got a significant amount of spray to his face.”
The center also provided details on the extent of the owl’s leg injury, and without getting too graphic, the medical staff had to perform a skin transplant and take excess skin from the owl’s chest and graft it over the muscle of his leg.
Hopefully the third time’s the charm for this little guy, and he’ll be able to survive and thrive in the wild without getting himself into too much trouble.