HomeOutdoorsNewsInjured Owl Rescued Amid North Dakota’s Intense Winter Storms: PHOTOS

Injured Owl Rescued Amid North Dakota’s Intense Winter Storms: PHOTOS

by Jon D. B.
great horned owl in snow
GREAT HORNED OWL (BUBO VIRGINIANUS) IN THE SNOW. (Photo by Werner LAYER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Fighting North Dakota’s winter storms, this hardy Fargo police officer went above and beyond to save a great horned owl with a broken wing.

Typically, police officers must refer wildlife-related calls to North Dakota Game and Fish Department. But when FPD Community Service Officer (CSO) Aventi saw the condition of the owl, she knew she there was no time.

Responding to a call on the morning of March 15, CSO Aventi arrived to a north Fargo residence. There, she found “a large great horned owl with a broken wing outside,” FPD reports.

“In this incident, CSO Aventi could see the animal was injured and needed immediate assistance, so she contacted Game and Fish to receive clearance from their department to remove the owl and arrange for veterinary care,” FPD’s Facebook post continues.

To rescue the injured owl, CSO Aventi waded through waist-high snow amid single-digit temperatures:

Not knowing she was his rescuer, the owl fled down into a window well at first. But Aventi didn’t waiver. She retrieved a net from her vehicle, safely caught the raptor, then secured him in her FPD van.

Aventi then transferred her rescue to Chahinkapa Zoo in Wahpeton, which is the closest permitted raptor rehabilitator to Fargo, FPD cites. There, he received veterinary care for his broken wing.

Rescued Owl Flew Down from Canada, Is Only 1-Year-Old

Interestingly, the owl’s identification band on his leg indicated he came down from Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada. It also revealed his approximate age of 1-year, citing his birth in early 2022. He’s had an eventful first year, to be sure.

“CSO Aventi’s willingness to go the extra mile in this situation demonstrates her commitment to the Fargo Police Department’s mission and core value of Guardianship,” FDP lauds of Aventi’s rescue efforts. “FPD will guard, protect and preserve all life and property in the Fargo community as well as each other.”

The largest owl species in North America, great horned owls live across the majority of the continent. Remarkable hunters, they hunt in every ecosystem except the far northern (Arctic) regions of Canada and Alaska.

Like all birds of prey, owls rely on their wings for hunting. Sadly, owls with broken wing bones do not survive long in the wild. Those that are rescued can recover into release, but only if the break is minor and/or found in time to be treated. The majority of owls rescued with broken wings live out their days in sanctuaries, zoos, or other conservation facilities where they’re able to be fed.

In short, this beautiful fellow owes his life to the kindness and perseverance of Officer Aventi. Without her, he would’ve perished in the North Dakota winter. And as someone who just spent a week navigating the state’s treacherous winter storms, I am beyond glad to see him survive.