Injured owl gets second chance after rehab - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Injured owl gets second chance after rehab

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Erich Neupert of the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center prepares to release a barred owl following rehabilitation. (KTEN) Erich Neupert of the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center prepares to release a barred owl following rehabilitation. (KTEN)
This barred owl was injured after becoming ensnared in fishing line at the Hagerman National Wildlife Reserve. (KTEN) This barred owl was injured after becoming ensnared in fishing line at the Hagerman National Wildlife Reserve. (KTEN)
A rehabilitated barred owl flies to a tree at the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. (KTEN) A rehabilitated barred owl flies to a tree at the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. (KTEN)
This great horned owl may have been hit by a car. (KTEN) This great horned owl may have been hit by a car. (KTEN)

GRAYSON COUNTY, Texas -- A barred owl got a second chance at life in the wild on Wednesday.

The Blackland Prairie Raptor Center in Collin County spent five weeks nursing the owl back to health after it got caught in fishing line that was hanging from a tree at the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Sherman.

"It actually had a sprained shoulder," explained raptor center executive director Erich Neupert. "It's not a normal position for an owl to be hanging like that."

He said his organization welcomes injured birds of prey -- hawks, owls, eagles and falcons -- and rehabilitates them before releasing them back into the wild.

When the barred owl arrived at the center, it couldn't get off the ground. But after weeks of physical therapy it was ready to return home.

"It's a great feeling of giving these birds a second chance in the wild," said refuge manager Kathy Whaley.  "It just came from about a quarter mile from where we are now, so it will be back home and know where it is and ready to go eat, probably."

On Wednesday, the Hagerman Wildlife Refuge saved another injured raptor; a great horned owl that they think was hit by a car.

The Blackland Prairie Raptor Center took that owl for rehabilitation. Neupert said he hopes it can be returned to the wild very soon.

"It's really a great feeling," he said. "It's wonderful because these birds have been through a lot."

The Hagerman Wildlife Refuge Center urges fishermen to always take their trash and fishing line with them when they leave to reduce the chances that animals will be injured. so it doesn't injure anymore animals. They also suggest not releasing helium balloons that animals can mistake for food.

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