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Owl rescued from soccer net

“I have never seen more amazing eyes!”

This was the common consensus after Glacier Lake School staff and students looked into the bright golden orbs of a terrified young great-horned owl last week. Staff member Ben Kestner discovered the owl caught in the soccer goal net as students arrived in the morning. He thought it might be one of the owlets that had hatched in the school’s tree earlier this spring.

Donning heavy leather gloves, staff member Carolyn Hidy attempted to untangle the wings from the net. “The owl was so scared. It snapped and hissed, and as it fought, its feet got even more entangled,” she said. “I could see it had bitten its tongue, and the net was around its whole body.”

Staff member Lisa Pavlock and student Conner Ferril brought scissors and helped cut the net away as the owl’s talons dug into Hidy’s gloved fingers. “Once it grabbed on, it didn’t let go,” Hidy said. “We had to gently cut away tight tangles while holding its wings and occupying its beak so we didn’t hurt it or get hurt ourselves.”

As a curious crowd of students and families looked on, the owl was finally freed of its restraints, but still lay motionless on the ground, gripping Hidy’s hand. She carried it to a fence post, hoping it was not so injured that it couldn’t fly.

“I was honored to hold something so majestic,” said Hidy. “My heart was so happy when it flew off.”

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