Hanging by a string: A great horned owl is caught in a kite string suspended in a tree over power lines near a home in Tappen.

Hydro crew rescues snagged owl

A great horned owl is recovering in Kamloops after an altercation with a kite and a close brush with hydro wires.

A great horned owl is recovering in Kamloops after an altercation with a kite and a close brush with hydro wires.

Lynn Stanley had no idea her grandson’s runaway kite would cause quite so much trouble when it blew into trees near the family’s hydro transformer and adjacent power lines at their Tappen home.

At dusk on Wednesday, Sept. 9, Stanley was alerted to something by her dogs barking, went outside and saw the owl dangling – its wing caught in the kite’s string just above the hydro connection. After initially being unsuccessful getting BC Hydro’s attention, Stanley contacted a wildlife rehabilitation group in Delta, which specializes in raptors. They took charge and within 10 minutes of their call to BC Hydro, Stanley got a call back saying there was a crew on their way.

“Here they are up at 50 feet in the air with their bucket truck  at 11 at night,” says Stanley. “I was so grateful because I didn’t know what we were going to do. I didn’t want to leave the poor owl up there all night and still have no idea how to get him down.”

The BC Hydro linesmen told Stanley that any issue with hydro poles or lines should be reported to hydro, as they do not want members of the public trying to work on it themselves.

“It’s just too dangerous,” she said.

The hydro workers were able to cut a length of string from both sides of the bird and using the string and the bucket, they lowered the bird down into a plastic bin.

The next day, the Stanleys drove the injured bird to the Kamloops Wildlife Park. Staff told them the owl has an excellent chance of being rehabilitated and released back into the wild.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who helped out,” says Stanley.


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