Rescue workers used a fire truck to save a great horned owl that had become entangled in a fishing line at Harriman Lake Park in Jefferson County, Colorado last week.
In a tweeted video, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Northeast region showed firefighters from West Metro Fire Rescue and a wildlife official using the fire truck’s cherry picker to reach the owl, which is dangling helplessly from the fishing line.
After a struggle, the rescuers restrain the owl and cut the fishing line. The bird is then brought down aboard the cherry picker.
Wildlife officials took the owl, which was suffering soft tissue injuries, to the Birds of Prey Foundation in Broomfield, Colorado.
“They won't know the full extent of the damage for a couple weeks,” tweeted Colorado Parks and Wildlife Northeast region. “They will treat with anti-inflammatory and let her rest for a couple weeks. She will then be transported to a flight cage so they can see how she does.”
Officials said that the incident highlights the threat that excess fishing lines pose to wildlife. “Anglers need to be diligent with picking up any excess fishing line,” tweeted Colorado Parks and Wildlife Northeast region. “In this particular case the fishing line was up in a tree.”
The great horned owl is found throughout most of North America, according to the Audubon Society. “Aggressive and powerful in its hunting (sometimes known by nicknames such as "tiger owl"), it takes prey as varied as rabbits, hawks, snakes, and even skunks, and will even attack porcupines, often with fatal results for both prey and predator,” the Society explains, on its website.
In 2016, heartwarming pictures of an injured and sick great horned owl hugging the man who helped nurse her back to health went viral.
In 2014, a photographer captured the unusual sight of a great horned owl taking a dip in Lake Michigan.
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