A barn owl was rescued recently after it was found trapped in a sewage drain in Junnar taluka in Pune district. The bird was rescued by the Forest department and placed under the care of wildlife conservation NGO, Wildlife SOS. It was later released back into the wild, once deemed fit to do so by their veterinarian.
A concerned passer-by stumbled upon the bird and immediately contacted the Forest department officials stationed at Junnar on Tuesday. Following a prompt rescue conducted by forest officers, the owl was transferred to the Wildlife SOS Leopard Rescue Centre for urgent medical intervention.
The owl was shivering from the cold, so veterinary experts at the NGO placed the bird under artificial heating and closely monitored its condition. After a day of recuperation, the owl was ready to return to its natural habitat and was released in a neighbouring forest area.
Narayan Rathod, Range Forest Officer of Junnar, said, “We received a call from a neighbouring village about the owl trapped inside the drain and rushed to its rescue. Barn owls are commonly sighted in this region.”
Dr Nikhil Bangar, wildlife veterinary officer of Wildlife SOS, said, “The owl was completely drenched and had bits of grime stuck to its wings and body. We carefully removed the dirt from its plumage and feather and ensured that the bird got plenty of food and rest to overcome this exhausting ordeal.”
Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder & CEO of Wildlife SOS, said, “The owl was unhurt and we are glad to see it return to its natural habitat. The barn owl (Tyto alba) is a widely distributed owl species and commonly found in the Indian subcontinent. They generally rest in unused burrows, tree cavities or terraces and prey on rodents, small mammals and birds. “
In India, owls are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and International trade in owls is prohibited under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).
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