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Hoo is this bird? Prince Rupert amputee owl needs a name

Rotary Interact Club and Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehab Shelter host naming contest

A one-winged rescue owl will have a new name thanks to the Rainmakers Interact Club.

The Rotary youth division is working with the Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehab Shelter in hosting a naming contest to find a new moniker for the short-eared owl who had to have her wing amputated in October 2021.

The young owl needed urgent medical attention and was in “terrible shape” when it was taken in with a severely broken wing, Nancy Golinia, owner of the wildlife rehab centre said.

“I sent her up to the vet clinic because I knew I couldn’t fix it. It was bad. Short-eared owls — there aren’t that many in the wild,” she said, adding while the wing could not be saved there is a bright side.

“I thought gee if it’s a female … it can breed. So, anyhow, it is a female, and when another one comes in next year, it should be able to produce babies,” the wildlife caretaker said.

Initially, there was some uncertainty as to the year-old owl’s gender, but thanks to some research and the developing colour of its feathers, it is now believed she is female.

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The rehab shelter takes in more than 800 animals in any given year with many returning to the wild once they are recuperated. Given the injuries to the short-eared owl and subsequent surgery donated by Pacific Coast Veterinary Clinic, the fine feathered friend will now be a permanent resident of the shelter.

It took about two and a half weeks to see the recovery efforts, with the owl regaining her strength to function without pain medication.

It’s not certain how the owl became injured, but there is speculation that she could have been playing “chicken”.

“It could have been hit by a car. That’s a possibility because they do fly across the roads at night. But I’m not sure that’s what happened to it, and the owl isn’t talking,” Golinia said. Now that the owl has found a permanent Prince Rupert nest, she needs a name.

Every school year the Interact Club decides on a community service project and this year was to assist the wildlife shelter, Josh Joubert, club member said.

Joubert said each month up to eight students attend the shelter on the first Sunday of the month to help out with recycling bottles and cans.

Club members sort the donated recyclables to earn money to support the shelter, which has generated more than $2,500 for 2022.

Once the students heard of the injured owl, the idea was broached for a naming contest to create awareness of the shelter and for some general fundraising.

“There are some club members who are very passionate about helping out the wildlife shelter,” Joubert said.

The club is encouraging everyone to submit a name suggestion for the one-year-old owl to the Rotary Club of Prince Rupert’s Facebook page, or @rainmakersinteract on Instagram. Supply your full name, phone number, and the entry for the owl’s name before May 15th. Once all entries are received, a panel of judges will select the new identification of the owl. All entries will be submitted in a draw to win a $100 Tim Horton’s gift card.

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 K-J Millar | Editor and Multi-Media Journalist 
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