Snowy owl found covered in oil, suffering from hypothermia rescued by WHS

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A snowy owl found covered in oil and suffering from hypothermia is recovering at the Wisconsin Humane Society's Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. 

According to the center's Facebook page, the large bird was spotted at a nearby recycling center in rough shape. 

WHS says the owl was found covered in diesel and an oil-based substance. The contaminants rendered her hypothermic, she had been ingesting the oily mix in a desperate attempt to clean herself, and she was in respiratory distress. 

According to WHS, the bird absolutely would not survive without human intervention.

The snowy wwl was bathed and most of the oil was removed from her feathers and skin. 

WHS said snowy owls have a tremendous amount of insulative feathers, and hers required meticulous cleaning – even all the way down her legs, feet, and toes. Once washed, she then had to be dried, which is also a complex process involving towels, a commercial blow dryer, and an incubator.

Now much cleaner, the owl will still need one final bath to get the last bit of stubborn oil out of her feathers and she’s being treated for some additional injuries and abrasions.

The owl's prognosis is still guarded, WHS said, but she just started to eat on her own and is beginning to show appropriate wild animal sass and attitude toward us – something we’re always grateful for with our wild patients.

If you'd like to donate to the snowy owl's recovery, CLICK HERE

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