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Pampered Patient Declines Dead Mice

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Pampered Patient Declines Dead Mice

Owl.

The patient relaxing. Photo: Screenshot from RÚV.

A small patient arrived at the Egilsstaðir veterinarian clinic eight months ago, RÚV reports. The patient was in a severe condition with both legs broken, all the way to the joint. Veterinarian Díana Divilekova put the legs in a cast, and the broken bones successfully healed.

“I try to rub her legs every day, at least twice a day, and sometimes, I give her a bath. That helps a lot. Her legs are a little stiff, but she can fly; that’s not a problem. It’s a bit hard to land, but sometimes, she lands just fine,” Díana recounted.

The pampered patient is a short-eared owl, which most likely was run down by a car. Chances are good that the owl will be able to survive out in nature again.

The owl’s right eye suffered a bleeding, but Díana treated it with medication and now believes the bird has an 80-90 percent vision. The food is not of the worst sort: goose and even ptarmigan meat, but the patient is too picky to accept the dead mice on the menu. Only live ones will do. Eating is a private act and only done when the vet is out of sight.

“These birds have few natural enemies, and she has received such good care from the vet that it looks to me like she will make it and survive. But it depends on how things develop whether she succeeds in trying to hunt and such,” commented Halldór Walter Stefánsson, ornithologist at the East Iceland Nature Research Center.

The owl fears people other than Díana, which is an advantage, because otherwise, people might create a disturbance out in nature. The plan is to discharge the patient in the spring or summer.

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