Owl rescued from netting in Enderby, B.C. released back into the wild

Click to play video: 'Owl rescued from Enderby netting released into the wild'
Owl rescued from Enderby netting released into the wild
WATCH: An owl, which locals had nicknamed “Whodini,” was released back into the wild on Wednesday. It was a new chapter for Whodini who spent nearly a month in the care of the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society after becoming tangled in netting last month. – Feb 16, 2022

After an initial hop outside the pet carrier he was being transported in, a great horned owl named “Whodini” quickly took flight, flapping away from the small crowd that had gathered to watch his release.

Whodini was released back into the wild on Wednesday morning, from an Enderby, B.C. backyard. It only took a matter of seconds.

The release location was just a few hundred meters from where Whodini was rescued earlier this year after becoming tangled in netting around a baseball diamond.

“I think it went really well,” said Orphaned Wildfire Rehabilitation Society (OWL) volunteer Paul Christie.

“It was a good healthy bird. It came out of that cage because it wanted out, right where we found it, and (went) back into its territory. I don’t think it can go better than that.”

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Click to play video: 'Great horned owl released after rescue from netting'
Great horned owl released after rescue from netting

Wednesday’s release was the final chapter of a rescue that started in mid-January when Enderby resident Denise Owens noticed the owl tangled in the netting and called for help.

After hours tangled in the netting, the Enderby Fire Department and BC Hydro were able to get the bird free.

Click to play video: 'B.C. neighbourhood owl, nicknamed ‘Whodini,’ rescued from netting'
B.C. neighbourhood owl, nicknamed ‘Whodini,’ rescued from netting

Whodini, whose foot was cut by the netting, spent several weeks in the care of OWL in Delta, B.C.

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“It gave him a chance to heal properly and for them to check him over and make sure it was healed. At the facility down there they are in a large cage, it has a place to fly and water so they can check (the birds) out and make sure they can hunt properly,” Christie said.

“When it was determined that (the owl’s foot) was healed over, then they said ‘it’s time to bring him back and release him.'”

He was returned to Enderby at the start of the breeding season.

“(The owl) probably has a mate here somewhere so it is always nice to know that they are going to get back together,” said OWL volunteer Gary Turner.

On Wednesday, Owens, as the one who discovered the owl in distress, got the honour of opening the door to the pet crate to allow Whodini to fly free.

“It is awesome to see him fly away. It was pretty sad finding him up there in the netting and realizing he was still alive,” Owens said.

“I’m really happy that Whodini is back where he belongs.”

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OWL volunteers say people and organizations who use netting should consider taking it down in the off-season for the sake of the birds.

“These nets do catch a lot of birds, a lot of raptors … so that is something I think we could all think about. Sure, it is going to be a little extra money maybe to correct it, but it is something that would really help the birds,” said Christie.

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