Owl Rescued After Getting Snagged in Fitchburg HS Field Soccer Net

August 31, 2018

FITCHBURG -- Groundskeeper Ray Bedard has seen animals on the Fitchburg High School fields before, but never an owl. When he went to cut a field Friday morning, there was a full-grown one tangled in a soccer net.

“It’s a good thing I cut that field first,” he said. “It was probably chasing something in the night and flew into the net.”

Bedard called the fire department to help release the brown owl. He didn’t have gloves to protect himself from the owl’s talons and he didn’t want to hurt the bird.

Lt. Michael Gilenas the the crew of Engine 6 made at least 10 cuts in the net to get the owl free, Bedard, who stayed for the rescue, said.

The owl did bite and scratch while the firefighters used scissors to release it, he said.

Once freed, the owl stretched out its wings and bounced away before flying away, Bedard said. On the way out, the bird ran into secondary netting and needed help again from firefighters.

After getting the owl out and bringing it to a different area to release, it flew away into the trees, he said.

Bedard said he was happy to help the owl and see it return to the wild unharmed.

The soccer net has a small hole in the bottom, he said, but it can be patched up and used again.

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