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Great Horned owl rescued from San Rafael fire to make a full recovery

The owl's wing feathers were melted by the heat of the fire but are expected to grow back with...
The owl's wing feathers were melted by the heat of the fire but are expected to grow back with time and rest, thanks to one quick-thinking firefighter.(Southeast Zone Incident Management Type 3 Team)
Published: May. 14, 2022 at 2:26 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Thanks to the help of some quick-thinking firefighters, a Great Horned Owl was rescued from some burning trees sparked by the San Rafael Fire! Jason Shafer, an assistant fire engine operator with Engine 832 out of Sierra Vista, was inspecting an area in the San Rafael Natural Area last weekend for hazards when he saw a group of oak trees on fire a few miles away. When he reached the trees, he saw an owl poking his head out. When it tried to fly away, it crashed to the ground, landing in hot ash.

Shafer was able to scoop up the owl and gently put him in a box he had in the fire engine. He then radioed Incident Commander Chad Rice, who reached out to Arizona Game and Fish to see if they could take in the rescue. They recommended taking the owl to Tucson Wildlife Center. Center officials recommended the owl be taken to Civano Animal Hospital and Emergency Center for treatment.

One very lucky owl is expected to make a full recovery after being rescued by a firefighter...
One very lucky owl is expected to make a full recovery after being rescued by a firefighter working in the San Rafael Natural Area.(Southeast Zone Incident Management Type 3 Team)

The animal hospital vets worked throughout the night to help the owl, and their efforts paid off. The owl is doing well, according to veterinarians. He is able to drink, eat, and his feet were luckily not burned. His wings were melted by the heat of the fire but are expected to grow back with time and rest. Its full recovery will take around a year, vets say. The Tucson Wildlife Center says they plan to do a flight test with the owl to check his healing progress soon.