Rescue
Police officer rushes to save owl trapped in plastic on busy highway
The owl was completely stuck and vulnerable.
Elijah Chan
11.09.21

Most of the time, humans are unaware of how much their everyday waste affects the environment.

As we let our intense consumption go unchecked, we inadvertently create more waste than we can recycle. It comes from raw materials to processed parts, and more importantly, to packaging.

Pexels - freestock.org
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Pexels - freestock.org

One of the main culprits is single-use plastic.

Single-use plastic accounts for 40% of plastics produced each year. They come from food wrappers, deliver packaging, beverage containers. With a lifespan of more than hundreds of years, these plastics are used for mere minutes to hours.

Pexels - Maghda Ehlers
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Pexels - Maghda Ehlers

It’s not surprising that it ends up in places where trash shouldn’t be.

This single-use trash became a trap for unsuspecting wildlife. Down on a freeway in Idaho, drivers saw a concerning situation.

A great horned owl got one of his feet snagged in a plastic sheet.

With the additional weight and the plastic bag stopping him from maneuvering, the trapped owl can’t just fly away. Concerned motorists quickly called the police since they also don’t know what to do.


Facebook Screenshot - WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore
Source:
Facebook Screenshot - WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore

Sgt. Brandalyn Crapo and a volunteer from the Animals in Distress responded to the call. Sgt. Crapo spotted the owl in the middle of the heavy interstate traffic. The owl has been there for quite some time now and was obviously distressed.

Sgt. Crapo parked her patrol car between the owl and the incoming traffic.

Facebook Screenshot - WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore
Source:
Facebook Screenshot - WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore

The volunteer from the Animals in Distress untangled the great horned owl from the plastic trap before snapping a quick photo. The owl from I-84 seemed okay and was released shortly thereafter.

The whole rescue was a concerted effort.

The Idaho State Troopers thanked the community members who spotted the owl and called the troopers for assistance. If not for these motorists, the situation could’ve ended badly. They also thanked the volunteers from the animal rescue team for dedicating their time to helping the state troopers with these unusual reports.

Great horned owls are common in Idaho.

But what is not common is finding them in the middle of a busy freeway where they sit desperately and helplessly. If only we are much more conscious about the waste we produce, we could minimize these dangerous wildlife encounters.

Pexels - Nicky Pe
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Pexels - Nicky Pe

The more we consume, the more we put waste into nature.

We’ve all seen the photos where different animals are trapped by different kinds of plastic waste. Turtles, sea birds, and seals have six-pack packaging wrapped dangerously tight around their necks. We also saw sea animals choking on plastic bags.

Millions of animals are killed by plastics every year. These include birds, fishes, and other marine organisms. Almost 700 species are affected by our plastic waste and nearly every species of seabird eat plastics.

We can make a difference by minimizing how we use plastic.

Once we stem its flow into nature, we can save more animals from the dangers of our waste. While the task is difficult, it is not entirely impossible.

We can save our own great horned owl when we do our part in taking care of nature.

Watch how state troopers and animal rescuers save an owl in the middle of an interstate.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Elijah Chan
hi@sbly.com
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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