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Owl rescued from grillís grip back flying high in wild, thanks to WDNR conservation warden & citizen teamwork

Warden Wire Section: Wardens in Action published on September 26, 2018

By: Joanne M. Haas/WDNR Bureau of Law Enforcement

This owl survived a night caught in a car grill to fly again, thanks to teamwork by Warden Meghan Jensen and a citizen. Photo by M. Jensen/WDNR

This owl survived a night caught in a car grill to fly again, thanks to teamwork by Warden Meghan Jensen and a citizen. Photo by M. Jensen/WDNR

WDNR Conservation Warden Meghan Jensen has answered the call of wildlife in tight conditions before - but this one was a first.

And it ended happily on a wing and -- a team.

Warden Meghan, who serves Trempealeau County, got a call the morning of September 23 from a driver who believed he had killed an owl while traveling a local road the night before. He believed the bird was dead, after getting jammed into his vehicle's front end. He decided he would handle the aftermath in the morning.

Amazing the surprises a bright morning daylight can deliver! He went to the vehicle, prepared for the sad task and discovered the owl wasn't dead. It was just hanging out -- in a really uncomfortable position. Who's he going to call? Warden Meghan. She's always up for a challenge! She was in his area and drove right over.

"The owl was stuck! Just the wings and head were sticking out of the grill," she said. "The rest of its body was lodged in tight." Teamwork was the answer as Warden Meghan and the driver worked carefully and freed the owl from the grip of the grill. "It appeared uninjured." Wow.

Warden Meghan Jensen

Warden Meghan Jensen

Warden Meghan Jensen released this owl back into the wild after a night caught in a car grill. Photo by M. Jensen/WDNR

Warden Meghan Jensen released this owl back into the wild after a night caught in a car grill. Photo by M. Jensen/WDNR

To be safe and sure, Warden Meghan took the bird to the Coulee Region Humane Society for a checkout. AOK! That calls for another wow.

Time to get the little guy home. She then drove this lucky bird to the wooded area in the general vicinity of the unfortunate incident the night before, and successfully released it back into its wild home.

Next time, this bird needs to look both ways - then left again before crossing. "What an adventure for this fella!" And for Warden Meghan, too.

If you have information regarding natural resource violations, you may confidentially report by calling or texting: VIOLATION HOTLINE: 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. The hotline is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trained staff relay report information to conservation wardens.

Last Revised: Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Warden Wire