OJAI, Calif. - An owl who was hit by a car and saved by a Santa Barbara CHP Officer is ready to return to the wild.
The barn owl is going from rehab to recovery.
“She is doing great,” said Jaclyn DeSantis, who is with the Ojai Raptor Center. “She has made a full recovery, and she is flying fantastically and holding both wings evenly.”
Just a month ago the owl was brought to the Ojai Raptor Center after being hit by a car along the 101 freeway near Milpas Street in Santa Barbara. A Santa Barbara CHP Officer had received multiple reports of an owl looking disoriented on the freeway.
“Because of the car strike she sustained a broken scapula which is a bone in the wing,” said DeSantis. “She also had internal bleeding, an eye injury, and some lacerations. She had a lot of stuff going on when she first came in.”
DeSantis said the owl is now healthy enough to return home. The Center plans to release her back to the wild next week.
“She is an adult owl so that means she does have to go back in the vicinity she came from because she had a mate and these birds do mate for life,” said DeSantis. “Right now happens to be nesting season so we definitely want to get her back. Obviously we are not going to release on the 101 where she was hit by a car, but we are going to go back to Santa Barbara and get her in the general area.”
DeSantis believes this story has a happy ending because CHP officers acted so fast.
“She was brought to us pretty quickly and I think that did have a lot to do with her success,” said DeSantis.
The Ojai Raptor Center is dedicated to rehabilitating and releasing birds of prey as well as other wildlife. The center is located at 370 Baldwin Road in Ojai.