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Great gray owl released into wild after collision with semi
WINNIPEG -- A great gray owl is back in good health after a collision with a semi-truck last month in the Flin Flon, Man., area.
According to the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre a man contacted them on Jan. 29 after he saw the animal bounce off a semi in front of him. He checked to see if it was hurt and realized it was still alive. The charity told the man to get in contact with Manitoba Conservation, who brought them the injured owl.
Tiffany Lui, animal care manager for the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation, said when they received the animal it had an issue with its eye and blood around the beak, but no broken bones.
“We just started caring for it and providing it the medication it needed to get better and it was a really nice and quick turnaround and it obviously got better,” she said.
The charity then began to look for a location to release the owl back into the wild and got into contact with Discover Owls, an organization that works to conserve the animal through education and research.
On Feb. 17 the owl was brought out to Woodroyd, Man, and examined to determine its age and gender. It was also given a permanent band with a unique ID number registered throughout North America.
“Once the bird is banded, its put on a record and if anybody ever sees the bird again and reads the band we can keep track of it,” said Lui, noting its good for researchers to help them study where animals disperse, mate and live.
The landowner then released the owl and it flew into the forest.
AN UPTICK IN OWL SPOTTINGS
Lui said there’s a number of reasons Manitobans might be seeing an uptick of different types of owls in their neighbourhoods right now.
“It’s basically mating season right now,” she said.
“So we might be seeing a lot more of them because they’re calling out to each other, finding mates, they’re getting ready to start a family and all that stuff. And it’s also the time of year where we don’t have any hawks or eagles around, because we do find sometimes they might hide a little bit more when they’re around.”
Lui noted the great grays have been having a “pretty good year” and there’s a possible population boom. She said snowy owls have come down from the northern areas because it’s less cold and there’s a little bit more food.
More information on how you can help sick and orphaned wildlife can be found online.