Tracie Young and her colleagues at Raven Ridge Wildlife Center frequently joke that the most urgent animal rescue calls arrive shortly before they leave for supper. This phenomena was never more evident than last month, when Young received an emergency call from a local game warden just as she was preparing to shut for the night.
The warden informed Young that he had recently rescued an owl that had been trapped in a manure dump on a nearby farm for two days. Young realized there was only one thing to do: she requested that the warden send the bird over as soon as possible.
In an interview, Young remarked, “I knew it was going to be a long night.”
Young was taken aback by the horrible stink billowing off the hapless owl, even though she had expected it. She began lovingly referring to him as Stinky.
Young could see Stinky was badly dehydrated after two days in the scorching heat. She also observed one of the owl’s eyes was clouded and crimson. The animal specialist swiftly administered water as well as anti-inflammatory and pain medication to the bird. Following that, she gave the first of several baths.
The thankful owl stayed calm despite his exhaustion from his ordeal.
Stinky had already begun to change a few days later. His feathers were brighter, and his clouded eye had shrunk. Young, on the other hand, realized that there was still something behind Stinky’s wounded eye. Young inspected the area with tweezers. Young was devastated to see a BB gun pellet caught in the socket of the bird’s eye when he peered behind the bird’s eye. This had to be why the owl had fallen into the manure dump.
Despite his disability, the plucky owl was able to see very well.
“I was completely taken aback,” Young said.
Young, astounded by the owl’s recovery despite the odds, stopped calling him Stinky and began calling him Lucky.
Lucky is still being cared for at Raven Ridge Wildlife Center, where professionals are ensuring he receives the care he requires to make a full recovery. Lucky will be transported to an outdoor flying enclosure in the following weeks, where he will be able to safely relearn to fly. Lucky will be released back into the wild if he demonstrates all of the essential abilities. But even if he doesn’t, he’ll always have a place at the center.
Young is happy that the stars aligned that tragic night, allowing Lucky to receive the treatment he need. Lucky’s health and miraculous makeover continue to wow the bird-lover.
“To look at this owl now, today,” Young commented. “You would never know it was the same owl.”