Injured Owl Recovers at Angell Animal Medical Center

November 28, 2012

BOSTON, Nov. 28, 2012 – An injured Barred Owl is resting at Angell Animal Medical Center after the hospital’s Chief of Staff, Dr. Ann Marie Manning, plucked him from the side of the highway during her morning commute, the Jamaica Plain, Mass. animal hospital announced today. 

Despite the fact that Angell is not equipped to admit or treat wildlife Dr. Manning rescued the bird so that he would have a safe place to rest before specialty treatment could be arranged at the Wildlife Clinic at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.  The bird was transferred to Tufts this afternoon.

 Dr. Elisabeth Simone-Freilicher of Angell Animal Medical Center with the rescued owl this morning (credit: MSPCA-Angell)

The adult male owl, unable to fly or walk, was crouching on the side of Route 128 near Wakefield when Dr. Manning drove by.  “I thought it might be an injured owl so I got off at the next exit and circled back to check on him. He was sitting on the painted line and looked dazed, possibly due to a head injury, so I used my coat to cover him and bring him to my car,” she said later.  Dr. Manning then transported the owl to the Emergency and Critical Care department at Angell.  It was there that Dr. Elisabeth Simone-Freilicher, head of the hospital’s special Avian and Exotics service, evaluated him.

Dr. Simone-Freilicher, who is among an elite few veterinarians in the world who are board-certified in Avian medicine, set the owl up in an empty ward to keep him away from the hospital’s other patients and administered oxygen and fluids.  Transport to Tufts was then arranged.

"This case is unique in that our own Chief of Staff played the role of rescuer,” said Dr. Simone-Freilicher.  “Fortunately for the owl, her quick thinking, combined with emergency treatment and follow-up care at Tuft’s, will give him a second chance.”

Barred owls are common in the Northeast U.S.  Adults typically weigh one pound or more and boast a wingspan of up to 49 inches.  The birds prey on rodents and small reptiles and tend to roost and rear their young in large, densely forested areas.  Unfortunately for Barred owls, and others like them, their ideal habitats tend to bring them into conflict with cars and other dangers (as was the case with this particular animal). 





Angell Animal Medical Center cares for more than 50,000 animals a year and is one of the most acclaimed veterinary practices in the country. Angell has 67 doctors and an experienced support staff who work as a team to ensure high quality general wellness, emergency and specialty care. With 31 board-certified specialists and technology that includes an MRI specifically designed for animals, Angell is committed to providing a broad range of specialized expertise and experience, but delivers this care with one-on-one compassion that animals and their owners deserve. Angell is open for emergencies 24 hours of every day of the year, and offers night and weekend appointments with our specialty services.