Beloved by many, the magnificent owl is a nocturnal bird of prey and is generally associated with wisdom and vigilance.
More than 200 species of owls exist in the world, and in India alone, one can find approximately 33 species of owls across the country.
One such species is the Indian eagle-owl, which is characterised by the “tufts” on its head.
Due to their uniqueness and rarity, owls usually fall prey to poaching and illegal trade, and an example of this is a news item in the Times of India which reported the rescue of an Indian eagle-owl.
However, in this recent instance, the one man’s quick thinking helped to save an Indian eagle-owl from being run over by a train.
On August 26, a man walking along the Trans Yamuna Colony Phase-2 in Agra came across an Indian eagle-owl lying on the train tracks. As he approached the large bird, he noticed it was semi-conscious. Without wasting any time, the man contacted Wildlife SOS, a conservation non-profit in India, which provides animal ambulance services to any animal in distress.
A two-member team was deployed to shift the bird to their recovery facility.
Ilayaraja, the Deputy Director of Wildlife SOS, Veterinary Services, said to NDTV, “The owl is unable to fly, and a detailed examination revealed soft tissue injuries on both wings. But thankfully there is no fracture. We are providing all the necessary medical treatment.”
The Indian eagle-owl, which is also known as the rock eagle-owl or Bengal eagle-owl (Bubo bengalensis), is a species of large-horned owl restricted to the Indian subcontinent. These owls are typically large, with brown and grey bodies, and have a white throat patch with small black stripes. They are found in hilly and rocky scrub forests and are normally seen in pairs.
These owls are a protected species and are listed under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), which regulates the international trade of wildlife species.
If you also come across in such a situation, you can contact Wildlife SOS for Delhi and Agra here. You can read about how to save an injured wildlife here. Kudos to the man whose quick action helped to save the owl, in the nick of time.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)