Chatham County deputy rescues horned owl trapped in car grill: 'One of the most unusual calls'

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Saturday, February 24, 2024
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CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Chatham County deputy on Sunday responded to what he described as "one of the most unusual calls" he's answered.

A driver on U.S. 64 had collided with a great horned owl and was trapped in the front grill and bumper of the car. The horned owl is the largest species of owl.

When Deputy Wes Chafa arrived at the scene, he found the owl alive but trapped.

According to the press release, the deputy freed the owl by slowly and gently tucking its wings and feet to remove him from the grill.

"After I was able to remove him from the grill, I checked him out as best I could," Chafa said.

Deputy Wes Chafa cradles a great-horned owl after successfully removing the bird from the front grill of a vehicle. (Credit | Chatham County Sheriff's Office)

A N.C. Wildlife Officer then arrived and said the owl appeared to suffer no damage from the accident.

Deputy Chafa then carried the bird away from U.S. 64 and placed it on a perch on a nearby wooden fence.

"After a few minutes," he said, "he stretched out his wings and took off. It was super cool to see."

One of the most unusual calls, Chafa said, but one of the most memorable.