It was an unusual day for five tree trimmers working in Upper Stewiacke, N.S. on Tuesday afternoon after they made an unusual discovery – an injured owl lying in a ditch.
Will Shelley said his friend and co-worker Chad Stephens initially noticed the owl and the men were unsure what to make of the situation.
“We were both kind of scared of it. Owls are scary creatures,” said Shelley.
WATCH: Raw video of the owl rescue in Upper Stewiacke, N.S.
The men could see the owl was in distress and appeared cold, so they picked him up carefully and wrapped him up in a jacket.
While waiting for officials from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to arrive, Shelley said the men were “captivated by the owl.” He said the bird calmed down and he was able to scratch his head.
“We were like little kids holding a kitten,” Shelley said.
“I almost thought we were all going to start crying. We’re guyish-guys and this little owl made us piles of mush.”
WATCH: NS ‘Owl Man’ tracks, protects barred owl population
DNR transported the injured owl, believe to be a male barred owl, to the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Hilden, N.S, where he is recovering.
Shelley said he’s been told that the bird was likely hit by a vehicle and sustained an eye injury, head trauma and is suffering from hypothermia. Shelley said the men named the bird “Lucas” after the company they work for, Lucas Trees.
“He won the lottery. The bird lottery,” said Shelley, adding that he and his co-workers plan to visit “Lucas” at the rehab centre in the near future.