SAN CARLOS, Calif. (KRON) — When a San Carlos family heard strange noises coming from their home’s chimney, they wondered, “whoo” could be up there?
The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA spokesperson Buffy Martin Tarbox said the family had just moved into the house and they couldn’t see far enough up the chimney to determine what sort of animal was stuck inside.
“We received a call on November 9 from a family who had just moved into a house in San Carlos,” Tarbox said. “Our rescue staff extended his camera phone up the chimney to determine if it was an animal and saw that it was a trapped barn owl.”
A wild animal rescuer was slender enough to wedge himself into the chimney and safely pull the bird out. The owl was transported to PHS/SPCA’s Wildlife Care Center in Burlingame to determine if it was injured from its sooty situation.
“It’s unknown how long the bird had been stuck in the chimney. The owl was covered in ash, dehydrated, and hungry. We were able to clean the bird up and provide it with some much-needed food and fluids,” Tarbox said.
“Despite the barn owl’s harrowing ordeal, thankfully it didn’t sustain any injuries. This is one lucky owl!” Tarbox said.
The owl made a full recovery and was returned to the wild Monday night in San Carlos. PHS/SPCA treats and rehabilitates approximately 1,400 wild animals every year.