Photos by Jordan West
In early October, 2020 Ranger Kendra Keuffer was called to the scene at Armleder Park of Great Parks of Hamilton County. A great horned owl had become entangled in a soccer net and needed to be cut free. Although RAPTOR Incorporated encourages the community to take down sports netting when not in use, there will still be instances when birds get trapped during sports seasons.
The owl had struggled so fiercely that the net had completely encompassed the bird. At the Raptor Center the last bit of “necklace” was removed. Fortunately for this owl, no fractures were sustained during the struggle and recovery time was short; bruising and soreness resolved, and soon the bird regained its ability to fly. Conditioning for release began and the owl increased its endurance and exhibited good lift, flying quickly from the ground to high perches in our flight enclosures.
Less than three weeks had passed when the bird was released back to Armleder Park (although away from the soccer nets!) in the early evening. Without wasting any time, the great horned owl emerged from the box and flew straight away into the woods, not wasting any time for goodbyes.