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Men film owl rescue in Upper Stewiacke


HILDEN – A group of men were thrilled to have the chance to rescue and babysit an owl on Tuesday.

The owl was discovered in a ditch in Upper Stewiacke and is now recovering from her injuries at the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (CWRC).

“We didn’t want to go back to work; we just wanted to babysit the owl,” said Will Shelley. “It was with us two or three hours until DNR got there so we took turns.”

One of his co-workers with Safety First, Chad Stephens, discovered the owl around 3 p.m. so the group of men got together and, wearing safety gloves, wrapped it in a jacket.

The owl was discovered in a ditch in Upper Stewiacke and is now recovering from her injuries at the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (CWRC).

“We didn’t want to go back to work; we just wanted to babysit the owl,” said Will Shelley. “It was with us two or three hours until DNR got there so we took turns.”

One of his co-workers with Safety First, Chad Stephens, discovered the owl around 3 p.m. so the group of men got together and, wearing safety gloves, wrapped it in a jacket.

“We could see it was in distress and one eye was messed up a bit,” said Shelley. “Once it was corralled it was very docile. I scratched it around the head and it closed its eyes like a dog or cat.”

Because the crew had been doing some work for Lucas Tree Experts they decided to call the owl Lucas.

A natural resources officer took the bird to Dr. Helene Van Doninck, who runs the CWRC. She didn’t want to administer anesthetic and x-ray it at that point, but a physical examination found no broken bones. By Wednesday afternoon the owl’s eyes were reacting normally to bright lights.

Van Doninck thinks the bird was probably struck by a vehicle not long before she was found. If they’ve been on the ground long they usually have lice and she had none.

One of the things that amazes Shelley is that he and the other men were in the right area to discover the owl.

“We weren’t really supposed to be there,” he said. “We thought we were done for the day but there were a couple of hours left so they sent us to another site. The stars aligned or something.

“The experience was pretty awesome. You don’t get to do stuff like that a lot and saving the life of something as magnificent and majestic as an owl makes you feel like a million bucks.”

Once Lucas has fully recovered she will be released back in the area where she was found.

lynn.curwin@tc.tc

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