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Local men come to aid of Great Horned owls stuck in Vernon soccer net

Two Great Horned owls became stuck in a soccer net in Vernon yesterday, promoting a rescue by three local men.
Image Credit: Pete Wise
July 21, 2016 - 4:30 PM

VERNON - A pair of Great Horned owls tangled up in a soccer net flew away uninjured after being rescued by a trio of Vernon men.

The two owls, one adult and one juvenile — likely a mother and her chick — became entrapped in a soccer net at Marshall Fields yesterday, July 20.

Local wildlife control expert Pete Wise was called in to help set them free.

“They were probably after a mouse or something like that and went in and hit the net,” Wise says. “They got their talons all wrapped up on the netting.”

With the help of his co-worker and a City of Vernon parks employee, Wise untangled the birds and brought them home for the day.

“I kept them until nighttime and then let them go around 9:30 p.m.,” Wise says. “They flew away — minus a few feathers — no injuries or broken wings.”

It’s not the first time Wise has been called out to help free an entangled bird.

“It’s not uncommon,” he says. “I’ve had owls in the driving range netting before. I’ve seen hawks and owls get tangled in garden netting. By far the absolute worst you can get is a hawk or owl that hits a barbed wire fence. That’s quite horrific.”

If you find a bird tangled up in netting or fencing, Wise suggests calling an animal control technician. While you’re waiting for help, he suggests placing a blanket overtop of the bird to keep them calm.

Image Credit: Pete Wise

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