YAVAPAI COUNTY – A Great Horned Owl that was trapped in a barbed wire fence in the Ash Fork area was released Dec. 8 after months of rehabilitation.
Sept. 7, Deputy Ted Bumstead of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office noticed the trapped owl while on patrol, according to a YCSO news release.
The deputy approached and saw that a section of the owl’s right wing was wrapped completely around all four barbs of the fence. Having prior experience of handling birds of prey, Bumstead was able to remove the owl without further injury.
After unwrapping the owl's flesh from the barbs, the deputy confirmed the owl would need rehabilitation as it would not be able to fly, stated the release.
“It should be noted that the mother owl (presumably) was nearby in a juniper tree, and flew away after the fledgling was removed from the fence,” said YCSO.
The owl was delivered to an Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) official in Seligman and was then sent to Liberty Wildlife campus in Phoenix for treatment and rehabilitation over the next several months.
Once the owl was nursed back to health, Bumstead was invited to release the owl back into the wild by AZGFD personnel.
Dec. 8, in a remote area of Seligman, the Great Horned Owl returned to the wild upon release by the deputy.