Regina and Officer Dunn Returning home

WILDLIFE RESCUE STORIES

Great Horned Owl

On November 20th 2000, at approximately 10:30 p.m., I received a Great Horned Owl. It was transported from just south of Coolidge by DPS Officer B.C. Dunn. It was sitting in the road, dazed, and he had almost run it over. Nocturnal predators will see prey in the headlights of an on-coming vehicle and collide with it as they swoop down for the kill. Often there are broken bones, head trauma and internal injuries. Luckily, this magnificent bird did not sustain any of these, but did bruise its wings and beak. After a few weeks of cage rest, to allow the bruised tissue to heal, and a few more in the flight pen to rebuild strength, the owl was ready to return to the wild. Because it is so near breeding season, it was in the best interests of the bird to return it to its original territory. This meant driving back down to Coolidge.

Since Officer Dunn knew the exact location, it was arranged to meet and have him lead me to the site where he picked up the owl. We also had to time it so that it was as close to dusk as possible, yet still light. This allows the owl to orient and acclimate naturally. Along ith his lovely wife and one of Desert Cry’s volunteers, Officer Dunn and I said our fare-thee-wells and experienced a thrill that does not happen as often as we’d like. It is truly a privilege to care for these creatures and be able to facilitate their return to the wild.

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