Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Off-duty police officer rescued owl that struck his car

When an owl struck the side of his car in Merrimack, New Hampshire, on Saturday night, off-duty State Trooper Christopher Cummings and his wife went above and beyond to make sure the injured bird survived. "We start driving along when all of the sudden an owl flies into the driver's side window of our car,” said Cummings.

“And I just see this big poof of feathers and I said 'Wow an owl just flew into the side of the car!'" They circled back to help the owl. He's trained to save lives, but Cummings said he wasn't quite sure what to do with the injured bird at his feet. "I don't know anything at all about owls. I go to pick him up, and he starts moving around. Now I'm worrying about, ‘Is he going to scratch my hands off or what?’” said Cummings.

His wife called Capital Area Veterinary Services in Concord. “They just told me to wrap the owl tight, and I wrapped the owl tight with my fleece coat and then I basically cradled him like a little baby in my arms. I'd pet his little head as we were driving,” said Cummings. With Cummings and the owl in the backseat, the couple rushed to Concord. They said things looking touch and go right until they reached the clinic. "And then the owl opened up his eye and I was like, ‘Oh this is awesome, the owl's alive,’” said Cummings.

YouTube link.

The vet pronounced the owl stunned but not severely hurt. Cummings said he is just glad he and his wife decided to turn around rather than keep driving. "Just by taking the extra 30 seconds to go check on him we saved the owl's life, and I think a lot of times in life that's what people need, whether it's an owl or a person, is just somebody to take a little bit of time to check on them to see how they're doing and it makes a huge difference,” said Cummings. Wings Wildlife Rehabilitation is handling the owl's release back into the wild.

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