PULLMAN, Wash. -- An arctic snowy owl that flew ten thousands of miles from home only to collide with a car near Spokane is being treated at Washington State University's veterinary hospital.
The owl's amazing journey started the day after Thanksgiving, when a Washington Fish and Wildlife agent officer received a call of an owl "hopping on the ground" next to the road near Davenport, reports the WSU News.
Officer Curt Wood found the bird struggling to fly. He noticed the owl’s wing was broken, and knowing it would die in the wild, he considered killing it. But then he changed his mind.
"The owl was very beautiful, and it just looked at me with those big yellow eyes, blinking them from time to time,” he said. "It seemed to be totally at ease with me, as if it knew that I was going to save it, so I didn’t have the heart to put it down.”
Returning to his truck, he placed the injured bird on his lap and drove to his house to retrieve a carrier box. Wood drove the owl 20 miles to Medical Lake, where he handed it off to another state wildlife official, who drove another 15 miles to the Ponti Veterinary Hospital in the Spokane area.
"It's injuries were fairly involved so Dr. Ponti contacted me to see what I could do,” said WSU veterinarian Nickol Finch, who oversees WSU’s Raptor Rehabilitation Center.
Finch said the bird had a broken wing and dislocated elbow, which meant it wouldn't fly again.
But how would they get injured owl to WSU, some 90 minutes away? Finch’s husband just happened to be near Spokane on business.
"I called him and said, ‘Please, pick up this bird,’” said Finch. "So he did. He brought it to me in a cat carrier.”
To read the full story, go to WSU News.