ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) — The Great Horned Owl that captured so much attention is free again.
Staff from the Orange Beach Wildlife and Rehabilitation Center along with other city workers were there as she flew back into the woods of her home territory.
Back in February the bird was spotted entangled in fishing gear. Several attempts were made to catch her and when all else failed the wildlife center reached out to the public to locate her so they could give her the help she needed.
She was captured on Feb. 22 near Perdido Pass but her prognosis was not good. “By the time we got to her she was extremely malnourished,” said Melissa Vinson, Director of the wildlife center. “She was super thin. I was not sure if she would make it through the night.”
She was entangled in fishing gear. A lure with two treble hooks was in her mouth and behind a wing. “The infection was severe,” said Vinson. “The hole was deep so it took several weeks to heal.”
Meanwhile, as she recovered she became the darling of social media. Rehabilitation Specialist Julie Lesznar said people from around the country were keeping up with the owl’s progress.
“We’ve been getting calls and messages on Facebook and Instagram and even text on a cell phone about the owl and calling us from all over the place all over the country and texting us about it,” said Lesznar.
For a while, it was touch and go but the Great Horned Owl is free again and back where she belongs and Vinson thinks she knows why. “She has a real fighter spirit, really feisty so I’m hoping that she is going to live a long, happy life,” said Vinson.