John came home one day this week with a Great Horned Owl that had gotten hit by a car and was nursing a bum wing and leg. He was on his way to a client meeting when he spotted the poor little guy on the shoulder of the road, so the owl rode to the meeting in John’s lap, and then transferred to a cardboard box donated by the client. (Side note: you have to love a building designer who shows up to your kitchen renovation carrying a piece of saved wildlife.)
We called the Game Commission and they said an officer would call us, but time went by and none did, so I left a message at the raptor rehab about 25 minutes from here. Then the phone rang, and the Very Cranky Game Officer, who was sitting at the intersection about a mile south of here, demanded to know where the owl was, and then whether I had made clear to the dispatcher that the owl was in my possession, and then the gender of the dispatcher who had supplied him with the false impression that there was a Great Horned Owl lying in a state of distress along Route 29 in Dimock. Although the VCGO would not confirm, it appears that he drove an hour to get here from the regional office, and maybe that’s why he was pissed.
He was not a great deal nicer in person, but he did take the owl off to a rescue center, saving me the trouble.
It was a real treat to see such a beautiful animal up close, and in our subsequent research we found out that where a big, mean game officer has 60 pounds per square inch crushing power in his hands, a Great Horned Owl has 500 pounds per square inch, enabling them to catch and eat animals two-thirds their size. I just wish we had called the nice lady from the raptor rehab first (she called back right after the owl left). Because as it is, I feel like we narced out the little guy to the cops.
And, for the record, if I thought I could get Officer Sunshine out of the building for two hours by neglecting to mention that the owl was resting comfortably in a box on somebody’s porch, I would do it too.