Barred Owl #18-2349

Admission Date: 
August 6, 2018
Location of Rescue: 
Richmond, Virginia
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Tangled in fishing line
Patient Status: 
Current Patient

On August 5, an adult Barred Owl was found entangled in fishing line in Richmond, Virginia. Richmond Animal Care and Control responded to the scene and was able to catch the owl; a volunteer transporter brought the bird to the Wildlife Center that same day.

Some of the line had been removed prior to transport, but the owl still had a monofilament line tightly wrapped around its right wing. The bird also had injuries to the cornea of its left eye. Dr. Ingrid, one of the Center’s veterinary interns, anesthetized the owl to carefully remove the fishing line; she found several wounds on the owl’s wing from where the line had constricted, one of which exposed the owl’s joint capsule. There were many fly eggs present around the wound. Dr. Ingrid was able to remove the line, and carefully cleaned and debrided the worst of the owl’s wounds before bandaging it.  Radiographs appeared to be within normal limits, though the team is still concerned about possible infection and long-term joint damage from the fishing line.

The owl received fluids, anti-inflammatories, and medicated eye drops. The staff will check and change the owl’s bandage every day to ensure that all fly eggs were eliminated around the bird’s wing injury. If the owl heals well, the bird should be able to start physical therapy in 10-14 days.

This bird’s story serves as an important reminder to clean up fishing line and gear, along with other litter. This bird’s prognosis is guarded due to the high potential for joint damage because of the severe constriction caused by the fishing line. Early this summer, the Center admitted two other patients that were entangled in fishing line -- a young Osprey and a Bald Eagle. Neither survived their injuries.

Your donation will help provide veterinary medical care to this injured Barred Owl ... and to all the patients admitted in 2018. 


August 13, 2018

The veterinary team has been carefully cleaning and re-bandaging Barred Owl #18-2349’s injured wing each day; the wound appears to be healing slowly, though is mildly swollen. On August 11, Dr. Karra re-stained the owl’s injured cornea and found that the corneal abrasion had fully healed. The owl is eating well.

Daily bandage checks and changes will continue until the owl’s wound is fully healed. After that, the owl will move to an outdoor enclosure where it can begin to stretch and use its wing again. The staff will continue to closely monitor for any long-term damage caused by the fishing line.