Cop rescues 2 injured owls in 3 months: 'What is it with me and owls?


Rescuing owls is not just a once in a career opportunity for this Massachusetts police officer, who has been dispatched to save two injured birds of prey in just three months.

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Officer Donald Bates, 44, of the Whatley Police Department said he happened to be in the office when a woman called and said she witnessed an owl being struck by a car.

Immediately, he jumped into action.

He arrived on the scene, and wrapped the poor owl in a blanket he had in his cruiser, and placed it safely in a bucket and made his way to the Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehab Facility in Conway.

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Bates said a veterinarian in the facility said the owl, whom they later named Oliver, had hurt his leg, but appeared to be in good condition.

"I was like, 'What is it with me and owls?'" he joked. "Am I the owl expert now?"

In fact, Bates has owl rescues perfected to a tee.

He told that he received a 911 call from a woman driving in October who saw an owl on the side of the road.

Bates called the environmental police to handle the situation, but "they didn't have anybody nearby, so they talked me through what to do," he said.

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He then wrapped the owl in the blanket from his cruiser, and brought it to a rehabilitation center for birds of prey, where veterinarians said it suffered a sprained muscle in its wing, and a broken leg.

Bates said his wife eventually named the little guy Oscar, and said the owl will be ready to be released near a swampy area by their home within the next couple of weeks.

"I've taken to owls now," Bates said.

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