Rehabilitated owl released back into the wild after being found injured in Vancouver

An owl is getting a second chance after it was hurt, possibly by a car, in Vancouver’s West End. After weeks of care at a local wildlife centre, the owl is being released back into the wild. Angela Bower has the story.

A woman out for a walk with her dog in Vancouver’s West End in early October found and rescued an injured owl, and a local rescue association says it has now been released back into the wild.

Judy Parisien says she and her dog Storm found the owl on the ground in rough shape.

“We came to this corner and there were about five crows circling this small brown lump,” she said.

“At first I thought it was a squirrel because I didn’t have my glasses on, then Storm walked over and we got closer and we saw that it was a tiny owl. The crows cleared out and Storm just sniffed the owl as it sat there from a distance.”

An owl that was found injured in Vancouver.
An owl that was found injured by a woman walking with her dog in Vancouver’s West End has been released into the wild after a short recovery.(Angela Bower, CityNews Image)

The owl was found on Hardwood and Jervis and brought to The Wildlife Rescue Centre for care. The centre’s manager says it is extremely rare to find a Saw-Whet owl in urban areas, as they’re usually found in older forests.

“We were able to diagnose her with head trauma and ocular trauma, or trauma to the eye, in one eye,” Kimberly Stephens explained. “She had a lot of hemorrhaging so we were able to treat that with pain medication and antibiotics.”

Stephens says the owl was pretty banged up, and she thinks it may have been hit by a car. After six weeks at the Wildlife Centre Association, the owl is now all healed up with both eyes back in working order.

“She is very feisty and prefers to be hands-off. We try to limit our interactions with her as much as possible and we only handle her when necessary so she can keep her stress levels down,” Stephens said.

Parisien tells CityNews she’s happy she was able to get the injured bird to the rescue centre for the care it needed.

“I couldn’t not do something. I donate monthly to the SPCA … I just love animals and it’s so fulfilling knowing she’s going to be released,” she said.

The Wildlife Rescue Association says it released the owl in a park in North Vancouver on Friday evening.

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