The farmers in central Alberta did “everything right” when trying to save a starving owl, but their efforts were unsuccessful.
David Luce was working on his family farm, Lucends Ranch in Ponoka, and was just starting to bale hay when he received a message from his father who was working in the fields.
“My father… said there was an (injured) owl in the field. That, of course, has priority over everything. I’ve got everything I needed to get him out of the field and make sure he’s safe, ”said Luce.
Luce wrapped the injured owl in a blanket and placed a box with air holes for her. Then he contacted the Medicine River Wildlife Center, a wildlife hospital near Spruce View.
Carol Kelly, executive director of MRWC, said a volunteer was in the area and was able to collect the bird from the farm.
“Unfortunately it … died,” said Kelly.
“It was an absolutely starved bird. There wasn’t a piece of meat left of him. This sometimes happens after they have had a minor concussion.
“It could also be that he misplaced his parents and is still too young to be an experienced hunter. If he was moved by his parents, blown away in a storm, and he wasn’t good at hunting, he could have starved to death without that parental assistance. “
Although the owl died, Kelly praised the Luce family for their efforts.
“If people can do something as soon as they find (an injured animal) instead of waiting a day or two … then we have a much better chance of recovery,” said Kelly.
“It’s like a human. The sooner you get to a hospital, the better your chances are. He put a blanket over it, put it in a box, kept it still – all the right things someone should do. “
Finding injured animals is not uncommon on a farm, explained Luce.
“I saved two (animals), dad saved a couple, my grandpa saved a couple. The Wildlife Center says 2,000 animals are saved every year. If you travel as much as we do, you will see them, ”he said.
Luce, who recently started a YouTube channel, made a video to capture the animal rescue.
“Agriculture is not just about growing food, it’s also about protecting the environment. We’re taking part in it, ”he said.
“Living with wild animals is only part of our lives and we have to take responsibility for them when they need our help.”
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