Owls don’t play golf. Nor do they particularly enjoy spending time in a golf course pond with fishing wire wrapped around their wings. But this Great Horned Owl found himself in such a predicament, at the Lost Creek Country Club in Austin, Texas. Luckily, help was at hand.
Staff member Craig Loving didn’t think twice when learning of the bird’s plight, and without animal professionals on hand, he knew he had to work fast. The owl had been caught day and night, and when they discovered it was fishing wire holding him captive, there was no time to lose. Craig instinctively waded out into the pond to assist the stricken animal. But not without more than a little intimidation!
Nature.org explains that the Great Horned Owl isn’t a particularly friendly beast, and both young and old will attack without hesitation should it feel threatened. But this wise old bird knew that his life was in the balance should he not allow this closing human to assist, and Craig began to slowly untangle the mess the bird had found himself in – while still trying to keep a distance from that beak and those claws!
The footage is truly astounding as this usually aggressive animal patiently waits for Craig to free him. He doesn’t get flustered or angry, but rather simply allows this human to work some magic and remove the deadly twine. Animals can get caught in all kinds of human refuse – particularly fishing line – and we need to be more attentive to what we discard in their natural habitat. Shame on those who didn’t clean this up!
Thankfully, the story had a happy ending – for both bird and boy. Craig explains his understandable nervousness as neither party was particularly happy about the situation, but they managed to work together to get the job done. Craig then gives a lift to the heavy bird back to dry land on the end of his shovel, and it’s a joy to see him take flight. We like to think he gave Craig a silent “thank you” first!
The country club posted the footage online and were the first to congratulate Craig on his daring exploits, emphasising their care and concern for all wildlife, not just those that call these golf links home. The praise for Craig’s heroics was quickly followed by wildlife conservationists around the world. Loving by name and Loving by nature! Don’t miss this footage – it truly is remarkable.