CATAWBA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - The people at The Carolina Raptor Center likely saved the life of the Great Horned owl baby that came to their hospital with a broken leg. With surgery, Owl #19424 is on the mend and learning the "ropes" of being an owl from another, much wiser and older owl.
"He should ultimately heal up and we'll release him. That's our ultimate goal. But this one is doing pretty well," said Doctor Dave Scott, a veterinarian at the raptor center's hospital.
The baby owl is on the mend and is currently being fostered at the center by another Great Horned Owl named Betbait.
Betbait has fostered dozens of baby owls in her 32 years at the center. Each one she takes in, she treats like her own, even when it comes to being fiercely protective.
We were allowed only a few seconds of opening a small door where Betbait and the baby are living. We had only seconds to get video for fear the older bird might sense the presence as a threat and attack.
Rescuers are also concerned about human imprinting on the baby owl, so they allow very little human contact.
Once the baby has completely healed from her injuries and learned the ropes from his foster mother, he'll likely be released back into the wild.
The Carolina Raptor Center takes in up to 175 orphaned birds a season. If you'd like to help support the cost of caring for these birds, you can make donations directly to The Carolina Raptor Center by going to http://www.carolinaraptorcenter.org/
And if you'd like to follow the baby owl's progress and see other orphans at the center, you can check out http://crc-rehab-blog.tumblr.com/