While working an overnight shift in the Town of the Blue Mountains, Collingwood/Blue Mountain OPP Const. Kristina Fox came across something in the middle of the road she couldn’t walk away from.
Fox was patrolling at 2 a.m. on Nov. 3 on Sunset Boulevard in Thornbury when she says she saw something in the road.
When she got out of her car, she saw it was a screech owl.
“It was on the road, but to the side. It wasn’t moving at first. I thought it would fly away from me, but it didn’t, so I picked it up and moved it into the ditch so it was in a safe spot,” said Fox.
Fox then returned to her detachment to gather a box and some towels and drove back to the site to capture the owl, worried it was in distress.
“It flapped its wings a bit, but that was about it,” she said.
Fox returned to the office with the owl for the evening, and then took it home for a few days while she figured out what to do.
While she started making calls to try to find a place that might take the owl for examination and recovery, she spent four days feeding the owl, giving it water with an eye dropper and worms with tweezers.
“I Googled it,” she said, with a laugh. “A lot of sanctuaries were full, but I found one in Niagara called The Owl Foundation.”
The Owl Foundation is a registered Canadian charitable organization that helps wild Canadian owls and other raptors that are injured or orphaned.
Fox made arrangements with the foundation to meet in Markdale to give them the owl on Nov. 6.
Since then, Fox has been given updates from the foundation on the owl’s condition.
“It’s blind in one eye,” she said. “They’re keeping it until the spring and then they’ll test it to see if it can catch prey on its own and can navigate around. If so, they’ll release it.”
“They have to release it where I found it because they can be very territorial,” said Fox.
While animal rescues aren’t typically under the purview of the OPP, they do happen from time to time when a situation calls for it. Fox herself has two dogs at home.
“I’ve always had pets. I just care for animals,” she said. “(The owl) was so innocent. No one else would help it.”
“I just care so much about our wildlife,” said Fox.