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Archive for Monday, January 2, 2012

Operation Wildlife rescues injured snowy owl in Lawrence

An injured snowy owl near 31st and Iowa Monday, Jan 2, 2012, was rescued by Operation Wildlife.

An injured snowy owl near 31st and Iowa Monday, Jan 2, 2012, was rescued by Operation Wildlife.

January 2, 2012

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Snowy Owl Rescue

A snowy owl with a broken wing was rescued Monday afternoon near 31st and Iowa. Enlarge video

HOW TO HELP

Founded in 1989, Operation Wildlife, or OWL, provides rehabilitation and veterinary services for injured and orphaned wild animals. It also provides wildlife education for residents of northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri.

OWL receives thousands of animals each year, and the release rate averages about 69 percent, which is higher than the national average of 49 percent.

As a not-for-profit organization, it relies on donations and volunteers to stay open. To learn more about the organization or to make a donation, visit owl-online.org or call 542-3625. The mailing address is: 23375 Guthrie Road, Linwood, KS 66052.

Gary Crain, of Overland Park and a volunteer with Operation Wildlife, rescues an injured snowy owl Monday afternoon at the Jayhawk Station post office, 1901 W. 31st St.

Gary Crain, of Overland Park and a volunteer with Operation Wildlife, rescues an injured snowy owl Monday afternoon at the Jayhawk Station post office, 1901 W. 31st St.

About a dozen people took pictures and watched over an injured snowy owl today in the parking lot of the Jayhawk Station post office, 1901 W. 31st St., as they waited for Operation Wildlife to arrive.

Darrell Huff, Lawrence, said he had just pulled into the post office about 2 p.m. when he saw the large bird fall and hit the concrete. He believed it flew into the power lines above.

“I drove over to see what it was, and when I got closer, it sort of rolled over and I could tell it had a broken wing,” he said.

Margaret Uhler, 11, and her dad, Bill, of Lawrence, also saw the bird fall as they were driving by and were the next on the scene. They called the police department and then Operation Wildlife.

“I love animals,” Margaret said, shivering in the 36-degree weather. “I hope it’s going to be OK.”

Within 30 minutes, Gary Crain, an Operation Wildlife volunteer, pulled up in a van along with Meghan Carey, an intern. Crain scooped up the owl with his gloves and put it in a cage in the back of the van. He said it was the first snowy owl that he had seen in his nine years at Operation Wildlife. The large birds typically nest in the Arctic tundra of the northernmost stretches of Alaska, Canada and Eurasia.

“It’s pretty unusual for them to come this far south for food, but that means food is pretty scarce,” he said.

Diane Johnson, executive director of Operation Wildlife, said it was only the second time she had taken care of a snowy owl in 30 years.

“It’s a very cool bird, and it’s lucky that it got injured where it did because people actually saw him,” she said.

Johnson said the owl has a midshaft humeral fracture of the left wing. Today, they immobilized the fracture, treated him for shock and started antibiotics. Tuesday, he will go to the vet, where he will receive X-rays and probably surgery. She expects his rehabilitation to take about three months, and then he will be released.

It was only Carey’s second day on the job as an intern, and she felt blessed to have been part of the rescue.

“They are extremely rare so I was very, very excited,” she said. “I feel honored that I am able to have such a great experience.”

Comments

howie1 2 years, 11 months ago

Man ljw you were quick to fix the addy but really 1901 Iowa??? Lol

Charlie Sabotage 2 years, 11 months ago

That is neat. Driving by there today, we noticed many people standing around what looked to be a small dog! Had no idea it was an owl. Noe, the sentence the man said about "the owl being lucky it was injured where people could see it" amused me. It's sad it was hurt at all! but good thing, they are able to help it

Lene 2 years, 11 months ago

Very impressive! Glad the owl will have good care!

riverdrifter 2 years, 11 months ago

I hope they can get it fixed up so it can go back to the far north where it needs to be. I drove ~60 miles around Franklin and Douglas counties glassing for one the past weekend and seeing none. Good on operation Wildlife. My donation is on the way to help take care of this owl.

Liberty275 2 years, 11 months ago

Lawrence... Free health care for owls and jail cells for OWS,

Cool looking raptor.

riverdrifter 2 years, 11 months ago

Not a raptor. It's an owl. Raptors work the day shift.

riverdrifter 2 years, 11 months ago

Life isn't fair and nobody ever said it was. This guy/gal flew ~1500 miles down here from the tundra just looking for a mouse or vole, just trying to stay alive.

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