Owl at the HAWK Center after injured by a car. (Photo: Meredith Mitchell/THV 11 News)
Owl found injured by a car near Perryville. (Photo: Meredith Mitchell/THV 11 News)
DARDANELLE, Ark. (KTHV) - An owl living in Central Arkansas has had multiple run-ins with misfortune. But thanks to a concerned Perryville couple, she's being well taken care of.
Recently, Perryville resident Josh Dewees found an injured owl, who appeared to have been hit by a car, on the side of Highway 60 while on a routine jog. He affectionately named the bird "Miss Perryville" and began searching for help for her.
That's when he came upon HAWK (Helping Arkansas Wild "Kritters") Center, an organization outside Russellville that rehabilitates wild animals. HAWK's Executive Director Lynne Slater agreed to take the hurt owl in.
"When he had it, we did take it in for an x-ray to Dr. Key and there was nothing broken, so we just took our time and whenever she was ready to be released, she got to go back home," Slater said.
After three weeks, HAWK volunteers along with the Dewees family released Miss Perryville back into the wild.
"It was amazing to see her fly off like that seeing her injured like she was," Dewees recalled.
Dewees was optimistic about the owl's future, until he received a phone call three weeks later from his wife while on her way to work.
"She was taking the same route. Right about where we let her loose the first time," Dewees remembered. "She said there's an owl down in the ditch on the side of the road, so I jump up and real quick and ran out there and found the bird and it looked just like our same Miss Perryville bird."
X-Ray images confirmed the owl was indeed Miss. Perryville. This time Dewees says she suffered a skull fracture.
"We didn't think she was going to make it."
Veterinarian Corry Key explained the owl was in a more severe condition the second time she came in.
"She was pretty shockey and kind of had a glazed expression," Key said. "Now she's able to follow you with her eyes and she looks a whole lot more alert which is really surprising considering how bad the x-ray looked."
Miss Perryville continues to show signs of improvement and Dewees is happy to be a part of the bird's multiple rescues.
"It's unbelievable. It's really rare to see the same bird twice, especially for me to find it twice," Dewees said.
Miss Perryville's future is still unknown.
Due to the severity of her brain injury she may have to remain in the care of the HAWK Center, where she will become an ambassador to teach Arkansas school children about owls.