MIAMI, Florida (WSVN) — A burrowing owl is on the mend after suffering a bad injury when it got stuck in a storm shutter.
According to the non-profit Project Perch, the bird was found with its leg trapped in a hurricane shutter over the weekend at a Miami Gardens home.
Karen Fraklin found the owl and was shocked at the discovery.
“I was out cleaning getting ready for a party cleaning a window,” she said, “And all of the sudden I look up and I kind of got a little shock. I saw an owl there, it spooked me, not going to lie. I saw his big eyes and he starts kind of squeaking at me.”
After hearing the sounds the wild animal made, she knew something was wrong that was when she called for help.
Paul Kragh, a volunteer who works with the organization, rushed to the scene to help get the animal out of there.
He said freeing the bird was not an easy mission.
“Owls have sharp, strong beaks and talons,” he said, “so I used special gloves so they don’t hurt me [laughs].”
Kragh carefully examined the situation.
“So the hardest part was trying to get that foot from that slide, from that groove in the track,” he said.
“He was able to kind of get the wings, the bird moved around a lot and once he freed his leg from the shutter, he brought him down and I was holding a cage.,” said Franklin.
It took them several minutes to free the owl, but after some time, Kragh placed it in a kennel and took it to the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in Miami, where the owl is being treated for a broken foot after veterinarians found his injury after an x-ray.
Nurses applied a padded splint to stabilize the fracture. They said the bird is making progress.
On Tuesday, the veterinarians at the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in Miami are now making sure he gets fluids and food.
Veterinarians spoke about his injury and believed the owl will be able to fly once he is healed.
“Luckily the break was clean,” said Yaritza Acosta, the manager of the facility, “It’s not too close to a joint, so we’re going to consult with our vets this week whether we keep the cast on or if the vets want to do a pin, it will maybe speed up the healing that way, but his chances are looking pretty good.”
Burrowing owls are recognized as a threatened species. A large portion of these birds lives in South Florida.
Kragh explained we may see more of them in our neighborhoods this time of the year since it’s breeding season.
“The FWC, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, says that from February 15th to July 20th is the official breeding season,” he said, “but we’ve already had baby owls in January because the owls don’t use calendars [laughs].”
Veterinarians said due to the severity of its injury, the owl remains under close examination.
The Pelican Harbor Seabird Station is a nonprofit organization and they are run completely by the public’s donations.
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